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November 11 2019

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www.joc.com Special Report 30 The Journal of Commerce | November 11 2019 Container Shipping GREATER-THAN-EXPECTED DEMAND for scrubbers will enable carriers on Asia–Europe to deploy entire strings of vessels fitted with exhaust filters, but any perceived edge over low-sul- fur-burning peers will depend on the wide price spread being maintained between high- and low-sulfur fuels. A scrubber-fitted string will be able to sail at faster speeds if the price for high-sulfur fuel oil (HSFO) remains well below that of very low-sulfur fuel oil (VLSFO). On Oct. 28, the 0.5 percent VLSFO in Rot- terdam was assessed by OPIS, a sister company of The Journal of Commerce within IHS Markit, at $509.50 per metric ton (mt), while HSFO was roughly half the price at $270.50/mt. Early estimates by analysts put the amount of capacity expected to be sailing under exhaust scrub- bers by January, when the IMO 2020 low-sulfur regulation begins, at 3 to 5 percent. But, writing in its weekly newsletter, Alphaliner said it expects the headcount of scrubber- fitted container ships to be more than 260 vessels with a total capacity of over 2.3 million TEU, 10 percent of the global fleet capacity. The analyst said the numbers of scrubber-fitted vessels would "Will refiners be prepared to continue providing HSFO to a market that continues to shrink its demand?" Alphaliner predicts more than one-fih of the global container ship fleet will be equipped with scrubbers by the end of next year. joachim affeldt / Shutterstock.com Seeing competitive edge, container lines double down on scrubbers By Greg Knowler Burning desire

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