As recoveries go the oil price rises over the last week have almost gone unnoticed in the turmoil of the Coronavirus crisis.
Last year the IMO2020 low sulphur transition was to be the major issue for the maritime sector for the coming years, this year the price of oil plummeted in value, into negative territory at one point, and have made a recovery of sorts to around US$30/bbl for Brent Crude and around US$5/bbl below that for West Texas Crude.
Like a dutiful child the price of bunkers has followed its crude master, nosediving to below US$200/tonne in Europe and only doing marginally better in Asia and substantially better in Houston, where Ship & Bunker reports the price for HFO sits at around US$141/tonne, marginally higher than VLSFO.
The all consuming media frenzy over the Covid-19 crisis has left the slump in bunker prices as a mere footnote, but at some point the cost of oil and the price of bunkers will recover to something like the March prices and the commodity will again hit the headlines. For ship operators that will mean the price of bunkers is, in all probability on its way up, like the well behaved child that it is.