Bunkering at Japanese ports has been affected after Typhoon Jebi caused violent winds and floods to affect transportation disrupting the arrival of crude oil and oil product tankers, as well as departures of oil product ships in the country, industry sources said.
The Japan Meteorological Agency, or JMA, said Typhoon Jebi, which it had described as very strong, was the most powerful to land on main Japanese islands in 25 years, with speed of 45 meters/second and maximum wind gusts of 60 meters/second.
Some ports were closed Tuesday, and although they have re-opened Wednesday, loadings are not possible as barges cannot run due to high waves, bunker fuel traders said Wednesday.
“We had some orders at Chukyo area, but all ports in the area were closed yesterday, so no vessels were able to come in to berth,” a trader said.
“It is impossible to deliver bunker fuel in Tokyo Bay on both Tuesday and Wednesday,” another trader said.
Barge congestion due to delivery delays is expected to clear by this weekend, a third trader said.
Still, the impact on bunker fuel prices was mostly muted due to weak demand-side fundamentals.
“Due to [the] expensive price in Japan, demand has been a little bit weak these days,” a trader said.
At the Asian close Tuesday, the spread between Tokyo Bay delivered 380CST bunker fuel against the Mean of Platts Singapore 380 CST fuel oil assessments was $48.89/mt, down from $57/mt on Monday. The spread had hovered around $51-$56/mt last week, S&P Global Platts data showed.
WATERBORNE SHIPMENTS, REFINING OPERATIONS
Meanwhile, some refiners were also affected.
Japan’s largest refiner JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy said Wednesday that it was forced to shut some secondary units at the 135,000 b/d Sakai refinery in the west, as strong typhoon Jebi had damaged a relevant cooling tower.
The refiner also restarted waterborne oil product shipments at Sakai and the 127,500 b/d Wakayama refinery in western Japan on Wednesday, following the restart of shipments at the 120,000 b/d Marifu refinery in the west on Tuesday, the spokesman said.
Waterborne oil product shipments at JXTG’s 129,000 b/d Chiba refinery and 270,000 b/d Negishi refinery in Tokyo Bay remained suspended Wednesday, he added.
Cosmo Oil also said Wednesday its 100,000 b/d Sakai refinery in western Japan had experienced no impact on its refining operations as strong Typhoon Jebi passed the region Tuesday.
Cosmo Oil on Wednesday restarted some of its waterborne oil product shipments at Sakai, with shipments of certain unspecified products remaining suspended.
It also restarted waterborne oil product shipments at the Yokkaichi and Chiba refineries Wednesday, a day after it suspended shipments at all three of its refineries, in Sakai, Yokkaichi and Chiba, on the approach of the typhoon.
Typhoon Jebi has lost its strength and classified as low atmospheric pressure as of 9 am local time Wednesday (0000 GMT) at Mamiya Strait offshore northwest of Hokkaido in northern Japan, according to the JMA.
Japan has seen a spate of typhoons so far this year. Typhoon Shanshan hit the Tokyo Bay and Kashima ports in August, while Typhoon Jongdari, also made a landfall in Japan early August, leading to bunkering delays at many ports amid barge congestion.