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Some 460,051 metric tonnes (mt) of marine fuel were sold in Panama last month, an increase of 18.9% on the 386,955 mt registered in May 2020.

According to figures released by the Panama Maritime Authority, last month’s total – the highest monthly total since January 2020 – was also 14.3% up on the 402,343 mt recorded in April.

A total of 284,365 mt of very low sulphur fuel oil was sold at the Central American bunker hub - 6.9% down on the 305,568 mt sold in May 2020, and 2.9% down on the 292,775 mt recorded in April.

The 79,093 mt of heavy fuel oil sales in May was the highest monthly total since the introduction of the 0.50% sulphur regulation in January 2020.

Marine gasoil also witnessed a sharp uptick in sales last month. Some 65,904 mt of the distillate grade were sold in May – 368.9% up on the 14,056 mt recorded in the same month in 2020, and 553.3% up on the 10,088 mt sold in April.

Low sulphur marine gasoil sales (30,689 mt) fell 9.5% year-on-year and 2.4% month-on-month respectively.

During the first five months of 2021, a total of 2,079,969 mt of bunker fuel was sold in Panama – 4.2% down on the 2,170,495 mt sold in the same period in 2020.

Despite the rise in marine fuel sales in May, bunker operations (538) fell to their lowest since February.

There were 34 bunker barges in operation last month.

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