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Rotterdam bunker volumes set to fall in '09

Expected drop in throughput this year is set to have a knock-on effect on bunker sales.



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Updated on 10 Apr 2009 11:26 GMT

The Port of Rotterdam Authority has announced that it expects to see a fall in throughput in 2009 - a statistic which looks set to lead to a decrease in bunker sales at Europe's leading bunker port for the second year in succession.

In a statement released by the port yesterday regarding its financial results for 2008, the Port Authority confirmed that it expected throughput this year to be at a lower level than the result for 2008.

The news follows an announcement made by the Port Authority in February that volumes of marine fuel sold at Europe's leading bunker port fell by over 600,000 tonnes, or 4.7 percent, in 2008 compared to the previous year.

Bunker sales in Rotterdam dropped from 13.6 million tonnes in 2007 to just under 13 million tonnes last year, almost equalling 2006 levels.

In total, 12,493,424 tonnes of fuel oil, 252,414 tonnes of marine gas oil (MGO), 87,526 tonnes of diesel oil (MDO) and 123,954 tonnes of lubricating oil were bunkered in 2008. This resulted in a total turnover of 12,967,317 tonnes.

The number of bunker calls was also down slightly last year, from 22,165 to 21,864.

Along with Singapore and Fujairah, Rotterdam is one of the three largest bunker ports in the world. However, whilst sales in Rotterdam dipped last year, Singapore - the world's largest bunker port by volume - reached a new record of 34.9 million tonnes in 2008, according to data released by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA). The figure surpassed the previous year's record of 31.5 million tonnes by 10.7 percent.

However, bunker sales in Singapore have also begun to plummet this year. In February 2009 volumes dropped by 349,700 tonnes compared to the previous month.

The figure was also less than every monthly total recorded last year and may be an early indicator of how the rest of the year will pan out for both Singapore and Rotterdam during the economic downturn.







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