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Bunker prices in five key ports in Southern Europe are, by and large, mirroring the price trends seen at Rotterdam, but with some ports showing an even narrower price differential between high sulphur fuel oil (HSFO) and very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) than at the Northern European bunker hub.

Looking the ports of Algeciras, Gibraltar, Las Palmas, Malta and Piraeus, the cheapest HSFO at the end of this week is at Las Palmas, according to Bunkerspot Price Index (BPi) figures. At $170 per metric tonne (m/t), this is at a $30 premium to Rotterdam. The highest HSFO price among the five ports as of 24 April is at Piraeus ($195).

As of today, the spread between HSFO and VLSFO at Rotterdam is $45 p/mt. The same differential is seen at Malta, but at Gibraltar it is $37 p/mt, at Algeciras, $40, and at Piraeus it is at an extremely narrow $4 spread.

While the price spread at Piraeus may be an anomaly, the fall in low sulphur fuel prices has been much sharper at this port than the other four in southern Europe. Between 6 March and 24 April, marine gasoil prices fell $316 per tonne (to $201), while VLSFO fell back $331 to $191. At this point in time, the price premium for VLSFO at Piraeus versus Rotterdam is just $6 p/mt.

VLSFO prices at the other four Southern European ports at the close of the week are as follows: Algeciras - $223 p/mt, Gibraltar - $215, Las Palmas - $225 and Malta - $207.

The cheapest MGO is to be found at Piraeus ($201), and the most expensive is at Algeciras ($275).

Reviewing price offerings between the competitor ports of Algeciras and Gibraltar, as of today Gibraltar’s prices are at a slight discount to the Spanish port across high and low sulphur grades.

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