The maritime industry has been thrown into disarray by the surge in bunker prices and the deterioration in quality of fuels. There are already signs that world bulk trade is being distorted because of the huge price rises as bunker costs often represent over 60% of operating costs. Shipowners, charterers, oil companies, etc. contacted by Lloyd's Shipping Economist could only see the situation getting worse. If OPEC nations carry out their threat of yet another increase in oil prices this year--dependent, of course, on how the dollar's value changes--then shipowners will face some horrendous problems. In many respects control of the oil supply situation has been taken out of the hands of the oil companies and is being increasingly exercised by the producers. This distortion of traditional supply/demand factors works to the disadvantage of a shipping industry which is still balanced on the knife edge between slump and recovery. And when liner companies ask shippers to pay bunker surcharges now, how can they expect these shippers to pay increased freight rates in the near future to cover inflation, etc.? In the analysis, Lloyd's Shipping Economist has taken a macro look at the world bunker consumption scene. The Middle East, Western Europe and the United States are the main supplying areas for international trade. And total world bunker consumption last year was 149.6m. tons, just over 5m. tons more than in 1977. Included in the analysis are bunker prices, quality, competition among ports and shipowners for limited supplies and sources of supply.

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    Lloyd's of London Press Limited

    Sheepen Road
    Colchester, Essex CO3 3LP,   England 
  • Publication Date: 1979-8

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  • Accession Number: 00315033
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 27 1980 12:00AM