Price of ship fuel is currently at its highest since 2014. According to Ship & Bunker data, the average price of IFO 380 HSFO burned by ships with scrubbers had risen to $514.50 per metric ton on Wednesday, up 51% since the beginning of the year. The average price of VLSFO, the fuel used by most commercial ships since IMO 2020, was $601 per ton on Wednesday, up 42% since the beginning of the year.
HSFO pricing hasn’t been this high since October 2014. Lasek told American Shipper that the most important historical comparison is between HSFO prior to 2020 — the fuel that ships burned back then — and VLSFO from 2020 onwards, the fuel that most ships now use. How does this impact container shipping? The price rise is translating into higher bunker surcharges for containerized cargo shippers; to the extent it is not passed along, it reduces carrier profits.