Global Bunker Fuel Market: Snapshot 

The bunker fuel market is a key part of the industrial network around the booming global marine sector. Bunker fuel comprises a major part of the total expenditure of vassal operators and can account for up to three quarters of a ship’s total running expenses. The pricing dynamics of the bunker fuel market have thus become important for the overall marine sector, with ports offering bunker fuel at the lowest rates attaining significant economic positions. Moreover, the bunker fuel market is also closely linked to environmental protocol and regulations, as combustion of marine fuels leads to the emission of several pollutants, including nitrogen and sulfur oxides. 

According to Transparency Market Research (TMR), the global bunker fuel market is expected to rise to a total volume of 460 mn tons by 2020, exhibiting a steady 3.1% CAGR in the last six years of the ongoing decade. 

Rising Offshore Oil and Gas Activities to Drive Bunker Fuel Market 

One of the key drivers for the global bunker fuel market is the rising need for offshore exploration and extraction activities in the oil and gas sector. Mounting scarcity in onshore oil wells has led to a steady rise in offshore activities, particularly in the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea. Established oil producing countries such as the U.S. have already made significant advances in the offshore petroleum sector, while the Middle East and Africa could also be a key market for bunker fuel due to the booming offshore petroleum sector in West Africa. 

The rising government support to environmental measures, particularly the reduction in sulfur compounds used in marine lubricants and bunker fuel, is an influential factor for the global bunker fuel market. Bunker fuels contain significant amounts of sulfurous and nitrogenous compounds, the oxides of both of which have a significant adverse impact on the environment. Acknowledging the role of the growing marine trade in environmental pollution, several governments in Europe have maintained a supportive stance towards low-sulfur bunker fuel formulations. The rising density of marine trade around emission control areas (ECAs) is likely to make this a consistent driver for the global bunker fuel market. 

Asia Pacific, Europe Likely to Dominate Global Bunker Fuel Market 

Geographically, Asia Pacific is likely to play the leading role in the development of the global bunker fuel market in the coming years. Rising Asian ports such as Singapore are among the leading players in the global bunker fuel market and are likely to remain vital due to the rising trade of commodities and goods in Southeast Asia. Aggressive coastal expansion activity by China has also aided the Asia Pacific bunker fuel market. 

Europe is also likely to remain important for the global bunker fuel market in the coming years, driven by rising activity in trade routes in the Mediterranean, Baltic, and North Seas. European governments have also taken proactive stances on environmental conservation, helping the Europe bunker fuel market exhibit robust growth. The rising offshore petroleum extraction activity in the North Sea also contributes to the Europe bunker fuel market. 

By type of fuel, the global bunker fuel market is bifurcated into residual fuel and distillate fuel. Residual fuel is likely to account for more than three-quarters of the global bunker fuel market in the coming years thanks to the widespread demand for IFO 380 fuel oil. Intermediate fuel oils (IFO) are the dominant revenue generator in the global bunker fuel market, with IFO 380 and IFO 180 being the most popular fuel grades. 

Leading players in the global bunker fuel market include World Fuel Services Corporation, Lukoil-Bunker LLC, Chemoil Energy Limited, and Gazpromneft Marine Bunker LLC. 

This research study analyzes the market for bunker fuel in terms of volume and revenue. The bunker fuel market has been analyzed on the basis of fuel grade, end-user, seller type, and geography. For the research, the base year is 2013, while the forecast is for the period 2014–2020. Market data for all the segments have been provided on the regional level for the period 2013–2020. A comprehensive competitive landscape has also been included in the report, comprising companies involved in the bunkering business. Value chain analysis and Porter’s Five Forces model have also been included for the market, to provide a clear understanding regarding the dynamics of the industry.


Porter’s Five Forces and value chain analysis have been carried out with respect to suppliers of bunker fuel. These high level analyses provide detailed insights into the business of bunker suppliers, traders, and brokers globally. Major drivers, restraints, and opportunities of the bunker fuel market were analyzed in detail with supporting graphs and tables. There are currently numerous drivers for the bunker fuel industry. One of the most prominent drivers is the growing demand for fuel for container ships and tanker vessels. The rapidly evolving demand patterns for various fuel grades due to implementation of sulfur emission norms in different regions was analyzed in detail in the report. Market attractiveness analysis was carried out for the bunker fuel industry based on geography. In the market attractiveness analysis, the bunker fuel industry was analyzed regionally and ranked on the basis of a number of parameters that directly impact the attractiveness of the market. Port market share has also been included in this report to offer a better overview of major bunkering destinations. In this segment, the major bunkering ports were analyzed on the basis of bunker volume traded in 2013. Apart from this, a separate segment has been incorporated for port analysis. Also, the three largest bunkering ports in the world – Singapore, Rotterdam, and Fujairah – have been analyzed separately in this segment.


The fuel grades traded at different ports comprises IFO 380, IFO 180, IFO Others, and MGO/MDO. The IFO Others segment includes IFO 500, IFO 700, LS 380, and LS 180 fuel grades. The seller segment of the bunker market has been segmented into major oil companies, leading independent distributors, and small independent distributors. Key end-users for bunker fuel were identified as container vessels, tanker fleets, bulk & general cargo vessels, and other vessels. The bunker market was analyzed across five geographies: North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and Rest of the World (RoW). The RoW segment comprises South and Central America, and Africa. Regional data has been provided for each sub-segment of the bunker market. The bunker consumption figures for each region have been sub-segmented on the basis of fuel grade, end-use, and seller type. Key market participants in the bunkering business include Chemoil Energy Limited, Aegean Marine Petroleum Network, Inc., and World Fuel Services Corporation. The report provides an overview of these companies, followed by their financial revenue, business strategies, and recent developments. 


The market size for bunker fuel has been estimated by studying the possible future environmental regulation trends in the market. Detailed research of sulfur regulations in different regions has been undertaken to estimate and forecast the consumption and investments in the bunker fuel industry. The global bunker fuel market has been segmented as below: 


Bunker Fuel Market: Fuel Grade Analysis

  • IFO 380
  • IFO 180
  • IFO Others

Bunker Fuel Market: End User Analysis

  • Container Vessels
  • Tankers Vessels
  • Bulk & General Cargo Vessels
  • Other Vessels

Bunker Fuel Market: Seller Type Analysis

  • Major Oil Companies
  • Leading Independent Distributors
  • Small Independent Distributors

Bunker Fuel Market: Regional Analysis 

  • North America
  • Europe
  • Asia Pacific
  • Middle East 
  • Rest of the World (RoW)