Ex-PetroChina Bunker Trader Opens Peninsula in Tokyo

Kazushi Fujisawa, who joined PetroChina Co. in April to trade fuel oil, has left to head a new Tokyo branch of Peninsula Petroleum Ltd. that will lead South Korea and Japan sales.

Fujisawa, who worked for Nippon Oil Corp. and Itochu Corp.’s group trading firm for about 18 years before he joined PetroChina, will be responsible for marine fuel in Japan and South Korea as of today, he said. Fujisawa targets annual sales at 1 million metric tons, 8 percent of total bunker fuel demand of the two nations according to Bloomberg calculations.

Competition in the North Asia marine fuel market is set to increase as PetroChina boosts sales of cheaper supplies from Venezuela, potentially squeezing Japanese refiners’ margins. Peninsula’s Tokyo office, which adds to branches in Shanghai and Singapore, will help the Dublin-based company capture a larger share of the Asian market as it seeks to increase global sales by 20 percent to 6 million tons this year.

“Our advantage is Peninsula’s global network,” Fujisawa said in a phone interview from Tokyo yesterday. “Ship owners thirst for global market information when they buy.”

Kazuto Ishida, a former bunker fuel trader at Hanwa Co., has joined Fujisawa at the Tokyo office.

At ports in Japan, 380-censtistoke bunker fuel oil traded at $510 a ton yesterday, according to two Tokyo-based traders. Benchmark 380-centistoke fuel in Singapore, the world’s largest bunkering port, stood at $434.50 a ton, they said.

Peninsula mainly sells fuel supplied by Cia Espanola de Petroleos SA, Spain’s second-largest oil company, known as CEPSA, at Gibraltar on the Iberian Peninsula. The Tokyo office is the 11th for Peninsula, which also has branches in Geneva, Dubai, Athens and Montevideo.

“The North American market is another target on our radar,” Fujisawa said.

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