Selfinvest, the parent company of United Shipping & Trading Co., USTC, delivers a record result for 2019/2020 with a profit of DKK 1 billion before taxes. Prospects for the coming year are more uncertain.
Several smaller players have rejoined the bunker market, Bunker Holding's CEO tells ShippingWatch. The low oil price means that small players can afford to participate again, but it will hardly last forever, predicts Keld R. Demant.
The collapse of the oil price is particularly expected to impact the smaller offshore companies the hardest. The situation is being monitored closely by bunker companies Bunker One and Monjasa, which are both keeping an extra eye on vulnerable customers.
Bunker Holding will lead the charge in consolidating the bunker market, says an analyst with extensive knowledge of the market. He points to a competitor with a for-sale sign as an obvious target for the bunker group.
With the acquisition of one of the world's ten largest bunker companies through subsidiary KPI Bridge Oil, Bunker Holding has kicked off the consolidation of the bunker market. KPI's chief executive does not rule out more acquisitions.
Bunker Holding hires a head of communications who comes from a similar position at Danish toy manufacturer Lego. This addition to the company comes at a time when the company has been subject to intense media scrutiny.
Nina Østergaard Borris will become COO of the USTC group, where she will also join the executive management team. "The natural next step according to the laid-out plan," says her father and USTC owner Torben Østergaard-Nielsen.
Keld R. Demant, Group CEO at Bunker Holding, is among the charged in the case about subsidiary Dan-Bunkering's potential breach of EU sanctions against Syria. On Monday, the Danish Eastern High Court partially lifted a naming ban in relation to the case.
Oil companies now have ambitions to sell directly to shipping companies, which are also taking matters into their own hands, according to a new report from SeaCred. The report points to two major trends in the bunker market.
Danish Defense has discussed the Syria case with its major supplier Unioil and its owner, Bunker Holding, in physical meetings as well as in writing. The Defense is interested in the case because Unioil has the same owner as Dan-Bunkering. "The dialog has been – and is – continuous," says the Defense in a comment.
The new low-sulfur fuels will lead to more legal battles, the bunker sector expects. As such, several stakeholders are strengthening their staff with lawyers and personnel with deep technical experience. One of these is Bunker Holding.
The parent company in Danish Torben Østergaard-Nielsen's business empire, Selfinvest, increased its result by almost USD 20 million in the last year. This improvement stems from the bunker market in particular, while tanker company Uni-Tankers has seen major impairments.
Dan-Bunkering could not have handled the sale of jet fuel to the Russian military differently, for instance ensuring who would be the final buyer of the fuel. And the procedures will not change going forward, Bunker Holding CEO Keld Demant tells ShippingWatch.
At least twice the Danish foreign ministry was warned by US authorities that Dan-Bunkering was involved in jet fuel deliveries to Syria according to Danish media DR. The Danish fraud squad, intelligence service, business authority and local police were also warned. In spite of these warnings, delivery continued.
Dan-Bunkering's office in Kaliningrad has done business since 2010 with agents who have procured fuel for the Russian defense. But the company is convinced that it has not breached any rules or bans in terms of sanctions relating to the civil war in Syria.
Revenue grew and earnings doubled at Bunker Holding in 2018/19. But growth will be controlled in the coming years, says CEO in an interview with ShippingWatch, in which he also comments on an "apparent credit crunch" in the sector.
There will be a scramble to attract customers after 2020 when several oil majors and commodity traders will work to conquer a bigger share of the bunker market. Still, Bunker Holding aims to grow its market share, the company tells ShippingWatch.
The Danish Defence intends to request an account of the case regarding Dan-Bunkering's jet fuel deliveries to Russian tankers during the Syrian civil war. The reason is that a company in the same group as Dan-Bunkering is the military's largest fuel supplier. Updated
Nordic Financial Group Nordea, which entered a billion-dollar credit agreement with the owner of Dan-Bunkering last week, emphasizes that all clients must observe international sanctions. If they do not, the client may be asked to find another bank, the bank adds.
Bunker Holding has secured a new and large credit facility with its banks ahead of 2020. "We're not aware of any other bunker company having a credit facility of this scope in place," CEO tells ShippingWatch.
The Danish bunker company delivered an improved result in the latest fiscal year, a period in which several industry players reported difficulties. "This is a period in which the sheep are separated from the goats," CEO Keld R. Demant tells ShippingWatch.
The owner of one of the world's top bunker suppliers has spent years working on the strategy for the family-held company's ownership going forward. Now the plans are ready, also for Torben Østergaard-Nielsen himself, he says in an interview with ShippingWatch.