Less VLSFO and LSMGO sales contributed to drag down Panama’s total bunker sales by 9% in September.

Changes in Panama bunker fuel sales from August to September:
• Total sales down 36,000 mt to 385,000 mt
• VLSFO sales down 43,000 mt to 249,000 mt
• HSFO sales up 12,000 mt to 96,000 mt
• LSMGO sales down 4,000 mt to 32,000 mt
• 0.50% MGO sales down 2,000 mt to 1,8000 mt

The number of ships bunkering in Panama’s ports decreased by 106 from August to 531 in October – the biggest drop this year. The average stem size was roughly 724 mt in September, up from 663 mt in August, according to preliminary figures from the Panama Maritime Authority.

VLSFO sales declined by 15% on the month, while LSMGO sales fell by 11%. However, HSFO sales rose by 15% on the month, recording their highest level since May.

There were 34 barges in operation during September, two more than in August.

Bunker sales for the first nine months of this year dropped by 5% compared to the same period last year, with HSFO sales leading the decline at 23%, followed by LSMGO at 20%.

VLSFO continued to be the most sought-after product this year and accounted for 69% of total sales in Panama. HSFO sales represented 20% of the total and combined MGO sales 11%.
Despite the monthly decline, total bunker sales were still 1% higher in September than the same month a year earlier. This could be attributed to the decrease in vessel transits through the Panama Canal because of low water levels in Gatun Lake, which forms a major part of the Panama Canal.
The daily transits were limited to 32 in September by the Panama Canal Authority, which is lower than the typical average of 35-36.

A slowdown in demand has boosted the availability of all fuel grades in the Panama bunker market, a source says. VLSFO and LSMGO lead times were around three days and HSFO could also be secured with a lead time of 5-6 days.

Source: Engine