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Bunker Fuel Market Trends

ID: MRFR//9387-HCR | 100 Pages | Author: Priya Nagrale| July 2024

Global Bunker Fuel Market Overview


Bunker fuel Market Size was valued at USD 124.35 billion in 2023. The Bunker fuel industry is projected to grow from USD 129.69 Billion in 2024 to USD 181.64 billion by 2032, exhibiting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.30 % during the forecast period (2024 - 2032). The growth in awareness toward reducing environmental pollution and stringent government regulations are expected to provide lucrative growth opportunities for the fuels, including liquefied natural gas (LNG), gasoil, and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as a substitute to the above-mentioned bunker fuels is driving the market growth.


Bunker Fuel Market Overview


Source: Secondary Research, Primary Research, MRFR Database and Analyst Review


Bunker fuel Market Trends




  • Increasing demand for bunker fuel in the shipping industry and exploration activities to boost the market growth




Bunker fuel is used in the shipping industry and is used in high-performance and large vessels that transport many people and are in high demand, mostly because of their speed and the amount of cargo that it can hold. Bunker fuel is a heavy fuel oil that is used in ships and is most utilized by cruise liners, oil tankers, and container ships due to the fuel's high viscosity. Bunker fuel is used for power generation on larger vessels and is also used as fuel for heating and electricity.


Moreover, increasing hydrocarbon resource development activities in offshore areas is driving demand for bunker fuel. Rapidly growing exploration activities coupled with the rising establishment of new hydrocarbon reserves have increased offshore and onshore reserves. Moreover, growth in the oil &gas exploration activities at the deep offshore location is further anticipated to augment the market growth of bunker fuel.


The conversion of the current operating vessels into LNG-based vessels is highly expensive. Hence, it is not economically viable. However, the operational cost of LNG-based vessels is expected to be the least among all the fuel alternatives once the new emission regulations become applicable. Further, a gradual shift to LNG for propulsion is more advantageous, as compared to the traditional methods of fueling ships with heavy fuel oil, marine gas oil, marine diesel oil, bunker oil etc. LNG-based propulsion reduces carbon footprint significantly and increases the ship’s operational efficiency. Thus, all these factors contribute to the increasing demand for bunker fuel.


Figure 1: Average monthly price of very low sulfur fuel oil (VLSFO) from November 2019 to November 2022 (in U.S. dollars per metric ton)


Average monthly price of very low sulfur fuel oil (VLSFO) from November 2019 to November 2022 (in U.S. dollars per metric ton)


Source: Secondary Research, Primary Research, MRFR Database and Analyst Review


Furthermore, as vessels have a large load-bearing capacity compared to other transportation modes, there is an increase in the demand for bunker oil to refuel vessels during sailing. Moreover, governments of several countries are focusing on strengthening geographical border security, which is increasing the number of naval fleets and contributing to market growth. Besides this, with the growing environmental concerns, market players are investing in research and development (R&D) projects to develop clean, eco-friendly fuels.


The shipping industry’s commitment to using LNG as a marine fuel continues to grow. As of 2020, according to the SEA-LNG, operational LNG vessels witnessed an astounding growth from 10 LNG operational vessels in 2010 to 175 in 2020. 2021 marked the growth of deep-sea vessel orders, with more than a dozen operators announcing multi-vessel orders. For instance, in 2021, CMA CGM S.A., a French container transportation company announced the operation of new 9 LNG container vessels and ordered ten new LNG vessels from Hyundai Heavy Industries. Thus, the increasing demand in Bunker fuel for shipping market driving the growth of the Bunker fuel market revenue.


Bunker fuel Market Segment Insights


Bunker fuel type Insights


The  Bunker fuel market segmentation, based on type, high sulfur fuel oil, low sulfur fuel oil, marine gasoil, and others. The low sulfur fuel oil segment held the majority share in 2021 contributing to around ~65-70% in respect to the  Bunker fuel market revenue. This is primarily owing to the LNG as a Bunker Fuel. For instance, as per the CMA CGM S.A report, there is a rising LNG as a Bunker Fuel.


January 2021: Titan LNG secured the tender for the delivery of LNG in the Port of Marseille for Corsica Linea's new Ro-Pax LNG fueled ferry. This partnership indicates the expansion of Titan LNG's operation into the Mediterranean that will enhance the availability of LNG, bioLNG, and in the longer run, hydrogen-derived LNG in the region.


December 2021: Minerva Bunkering started offering marine fuels at Saudi Arabia's Red Sea ports of Yanbu and Jeddah. The company is owned by Mercuria Energy Group and is working with Aramco Trading and the Saudi Arabian Energy Ministry.


Bunker Fuel Commercial Distributor Insights


The  Bunker fuel market segmentation, based on commercial distributors, oil majors, large independent distributor, small independent distributor. The Oil Majors segment dominated the market in 2021 and is projected to be the faster-growing segment during the forecast period, 2022-2030. Bunker fuel is the fuel oil supplied to ships that are engaged in international navigation. International navigation takes place through sea, coastal waters, on waterways, and inland lakes. Bunker fuel is mainly classified into low sulfur fuel oil, high sulfur fuel oil, marine gas oil, and others. Marine gas oil is mostly used in small and highly rated diesel engines, which are found in many different ships. High sulfur fuel oil is high viscosity fuel oil. Bunkering is the term used to supply bunker fuel to ships or vessels that are further used in maritime trade operations. Hence, increasing maritime trade operations positively impacts market growth.


June 2020: According to the SEA-LNG, operational LNG vessels witnessed an astounding growth from 10 LNG operational vessels in 2010 to 175 in 2020. 2021 marked the growth of deep-sea vessel orders, with more than a dozen operators announcing multi-vessel orders. For instance, in 2021, CMA CGM S.A., a French container transportation company announced the operation of new 9 LNG container vessels and ordered ten new LNG vessels from Hyundai Heavy Industries. This has further increased market share in the  Bunker fuel industry.


Figure 2:  Bunker fuel Market, by commercial distributor, 2021 & 2030 (USD Billion)


Bunker fuel Market, by commercial distributor, 2021 & 2030


Source: Secondary Research, Primary Research, MRFR Database and Analyst Review


Additionally, a need to tackle the environmental pollution caused by conventional fuels used in ship bunkers, which will boost the bunker fuel market in the coming years.


Bunker fuel Application Insights


Based on application, the  Bunker fuel industry has been segmented into container, bulk carrier, oil tanker, general cargo, chemical tanker, fishing vessels, gas tankers, and others. The container held the largest segment share in 2021, owing to the increased Rapid globalization, along with the escalating demand for international seaborne trade, has increased export and import activities worldwide. Bunker fuel is utilized by shipping corporations for fueling their marine fleet. Distillate fuel and residual fuel are the two types of fuels commonly used in bunkers. Of the two, residual fuel dominates the bunker fuel market, with around three-fourths of the share. The other segment is expected to bolster at a 4.32% CAGR during the assessed timeline.


Bunker fuel Regional Insights


By Region, the study segments the market into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Middle east & South Africa. Asia-Pacific Bunker fuel dominating market accounted for USD 43.61 billion in 2021 and is expected to exhibit a 4.32 % CAGR during the study period. This is attributed to the expanding applications such container, bulk carrier, oil tanker, and others in the region. According to International maritime trade (IMT) in 2021,  fleet increased by an overall 3.04% in 2021 compared to 2020 across all types except for General Cargo Ships and other ships.


Further, the major countries studied are The U.S, Canada, Germany, France, UK, Italy, Spain, China, Japan, India, Australia, South Korea, and Brazil.


Figure 3:  BUNKER FUEL MARKET SHARE BY REGION 2021 (%)BUNKER FUEL MARKET SHARE BY REGION


Source: Secondary Research, Primary Research, MRFR Database and Analyst Review


Latin America Bunker fuel market accounts for the second-largest market share due to the growing demand for maritime trade. Further, the Mexico Bunker fuel market held the largest market share, and the Argentina Bunker fuel market was the fastest growing market in the Latin America region


The Asia-Pacific Bunker fuel Market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.32 % from 2022 to 2030. This is because of the region's storage of fuel and the increasing hydrocarbon resource development activities in offshore areas in developing nations like China and India. Moreover, China Bunker fuel market held the largest market share, and the India Bunker fuel market was the fastest growing market in the Asia-Pacific region


For instance, India Bunker fuel market is the favored destination for Bunker fuel manufacturers due to the rise in the number of manufacturing units and factories. On the other hand, Japan is famous for its providing ease in business. Hence, Asia-Pacific is anticipated to register the highest growth rate over the forecast period from 2022–2030.


Bunker fuel Key Market Players & Competitive Insights


Major market players are spending a lot of money on R&D to increase their product lines, which will help the Bunker fuel market grow even more. Market participants are also taking a range of strategic initiatives to grow their worldwide footprint, including, contractual agreements, mergers and acquisitions, increased investments, and collaboration with other organizations. Competitors in the Bunker fuel industry must offer cost-effective items to expand and survive in an increasingly competitive and rising market environment.


One of the primary business strategies adopted by manufacturers in the  Bunker fuel industry to benefit clients and expand the Bunker fuel market sector is to manufacture locally to reduce operating costs. In recent years, Bunker fuel has provided the most significant benefits.


Neste Oyj (Finland) is an oil refining and marketing company that offers advanced and clean traffic fuels. It produces and sells gasoline; diesel fuel; aviation fuel; heating oil; light and heavy fuel oil; base oils; gasoline components; specialty fuels; solvents; liquid petroleum gas (LPG), bitumen and renewable diesel. The company undertakes direct sales and marketing of petroleum products around the Baltic region. It has operations in Finland, Northwest Russia, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. It also exports oil to other markets, which include the US, Sweden, Canada, Germany, and the UK. The company markets its products to oil companies and companies that market oil, fuels, lubricants, and other special products. In August 2019, Neste has announced the launch of low-sulfur marine fuels to help ships meet upcoming International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulations on sulfur dioxide emissions.


Also, Titan LNG (Netherlands) is a leading supplier of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and liquefied biomethane (LBM) since 2012 when it was established in Amsterdam. Titan specializes in providing shipping customers with end-to-end clean fuel solutions. This includes project planning, supply, and delivery, as well as risk management and hedging services to mitigate price fluctuations. As an independent company, Titan can work with other suppliers of low-carbon and carbon-neutral marine fuels to enable reliable availability and supply anywhere in the world. In January 2022, Titan LNG, a leading, independent, and physical LBM and LNG supplier gained the tender for the delivery of LNG in the Port of Marseille for Corsica Linea's new Ro-Pax LNG fueled ferry. This partnership indicates the expansion of Titan LNG's operation into the Mediterranean will enhance the availability of LNG, bioLNG, and in the longer run, hydrogen-derived LNG in the region.


Key Companies in the Bunker fuel market include



  • Chemoil Energy Limited (Hong Kong)

  • Aegean Marine Petroleum Network, Inc. (Switzerland)

  • World Fuel Services Corporation (US)

  • Gulf Agency Company Ltd. (Dubai)

  • Gazpromneft Marine Bunker LLC (Russia)

  • BP Marine Ltd. (UK)

  • Exxon Mobil Corporation (US)

  • Royal Dutch Shell plc (UK)

  • Bunker Holding A/S (Denmark), among others


Bunker Fuel Industry Developments


March 2019: British Petroleum announced the launch of a new very-low Sulphur fuel oil, which is estimated to contain 0.5% Sulphur content in Amsterdam/Rotterdam/Antwerp and Singapore. Liquefied Natural Gas, hydrogen, and battery-powered hybrid vessels are the optimized possible alternatives for bunker fuels with high Sulphur content.


March 2020: Chinese Ministry of Finance offered tariff exemptions on U.S. petcoke imports as the impact of COVID-19 affected domestic petcoke production in the country.


Bunker fuel Market Segmentation


Bunker fuel Type Outlook



  • High Sulfur Fuel Oil

  • Low Sulfur Fuel Oil

  • Marine Gasoil

  • Others


Bunker fuel Commercial Distributor Outlook



  • Oil Majors

  • Large Independent Distributor

  • Small Independent Distributor


Bunker fuel Application Outlook



  • Container

  • Bulk Carrie

  • Oil Tanker

  • General Cargo

  • Chemical Tanker

  • Fishing Vessels

  • Gas Tanker

  • Others


Bunker fuel Regional Outlook



  • North America

    • US

    • Canada



  • Europe

    • Germany

    • France

    • UK

    • Italy

    • Spain

    • Russia

    • Rest of Europe



  • Asia-Pacific

    • China

    • Japan

    • India

    • South Korea

    • Rest of Asia-Pacific



  • Latin America

    • Brazil

    • Mexico

    • Argentina

    • Rest of Latin America



  • MEA

    • GCC Countries

    • South Africa

    • Rest of MEA



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