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The share of very low sulphur fuel oil sales (VLSFO) out of total fuel oil sales grew from 1.8% in September to 51.6% in November at Europe’s largest bunker hub.

This surge in demand for the IMO 2020-compliant 0.50% sulphur fuel has been identified from the bunkering notifications made via the Port of Rotterdam Authority’s TimeToBunker App.

According to the app, VLSFO sales have increased significantly in the final run-up to the 2020 deadline, rising from 1,700 metric tonnes (mt) in September, to 32,000 mt in October, and 95,000 mt in November.

Although the sulphur level of fuel oil is not stated in standard bunkering notifications, Ronald Backers of the Rotterdam Port Authority suggests that this trend is ‘representative for all bunker sales in Rotterdam.

He comments: ‘The TimeToBunker App has been used since February and is a huge success. Over a third of all bunkering notifications run via the app. I see no reason to assume that companies that still make standard bunkering notifications have completely different clients with completely different fuel oil purchasing behaviour.’

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