Press Release: IMO Sulfur Cap on Bunker Fuels

BOSTON, MA, August, 7, 2018

In its recently published Five-Year Global Fuels Outlook, ESAI Energy examines the effect of the International Marine Organization’s (IMO) 0.5 percent sulfur content cap on bunker fuels on transport fuel markets through 2023.


When implemented in 2020, the sulfur cap will lead to a 1.0 million b/d increase in demand for marine gasoil and a 900,000 b/d decline in residual bunker fuel consumption. In response, refiners will raise throughput and leverage existing capacity to meet higher gasoil demand, and in the longer term invest in additional upgrading capacity. The spike in gasoil demand will strengthen gasoil spreads to crude significantly, but weaken gasoline and fuel oil spreads as these markets become oversupplied.

In this publication, ESAI Energy also examines changes in global product trade flows through 2023. ESAI Energy analyst, Ian Page states that “While the East of Suez middle distillate surplus expands and the regions gasoline balance moves to surplus, the Atlantic basin’s import requirement grows, resulting in a significant increase in East to West product movements”.

For more information about ESAI Energy, LLC



Lindsay Meagher

ESAI Energy, LLC

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