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Jet Fuel Is Now So Cheap It’s Being Blended for Use by Ships – ‘Reflects the obliteration of demand the aviation industry has suffered’

By  and September 20, 2020, 5:00 PM EDTUpdated on September 21, 2020, 1:13 AM EDT

  • Aviation fuel usually among most expensive oil products
  • Straight-run kerosene being used for shipping fuel: JBC

The fuel that powers passenger planes is normally among the most expensive oil products, but in a sign of the times the coronavirus has turned it into a blending component for typically cheaper shipping fuel.

Straight-run kerosene, usually processed into jet fuel, is now being used to make very low-sulfur fuel oil for the maritime industry amid a plunge in consumption by airlines. Higher than normal amounts of diesel and vacuum gasoil are also finding their way into shipping fuel.

The shift, almost unthinkable just a year ago, reflects the obliteration of demand the aviation industry has suffered in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. And with the International Air Transport Association not expecting air travel to get back to pre-virus levels until 2024, it may be a feature of the market for some time to come.