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Singapore port container and bunker volumes decline in 2022

Photo: SMF Chee Hong Tat, Singapore Senior Minister of State for Finance and Transport
Singapore reported declines in both container volumes and bunker sales buffeted by a slowdown in global box trades and Russian-Ukraine war fuel supply chain disruptions.

Revealing Singapore’s annual port figures on Friday at the Singapore Maritime Foundation (SMF) New year Conversations 2023 event Chee Hong Tat, Senior Minister of State for Finance and Transport noted the global container trade fell by 3 – 4% in 2022.

The world’s second largest container port Singapore handled 37.3m teu last year a 0.7% decline over the record 37.6m teu handled in 2021 by the city state’s terminals.

“Importantly, we retained our position as the world’s largest transhipment port. And during the pandemic, we enhanced Singapore’s connectivity and strengthened our position as a catch-up port for shipping lines, contributing to the resilience of global supply chains,” Minister Chee said.

Singapore also retained its position as the world’s largest bunkering port in 2022 despite reporting a 4.3% dip in volumes sold compared to 2021 to reach 47.9m tonnes last year. The volume of bunkers sold last year was also lower than 2020 when 49.8m tonnes of bunkers were delivered in the port. The overall fall in bunker sales for 2022 came despite a sharp upturn in the second half of the year.

“Volumes dipped particularly in the first half of 2022 when the Russia-Ukraine war led to supply chain disruptions and higher bunker prices globally,” the Minister said. “Bunker sales in Singapore have since recovered with a rise in sales volume by 9.5% to the first half of 2022.

On the alternative fuels front Singapore saw 15 LNG bunkering operations conducted in its port last year. Progress was seen in the supply of biofuels with more than 90 bunker operations delivering over 140,000 tonnes of biofuel blends to vessels.