The Biggest advantage of being SKTI Bunker Trader is that you can become all-rounded trader.
What is the role of “Bunkering” at SK Trading International?
Bunkering is sales of marine fuel commonly known as “bunker”. Main clients are shipping companies
who own and operate vessels. We also sell bunker to other trading companies as well. We run two
business models; one is sales of bunker produced by SK Energy and SK Incheon Petrochem,
the other is sales of bunker independently imported from other companies.
How does the work of “Bunkering” look like in detail?
Bunkering can be divided into two main jobs- trading and operation. Trading is about sales and credit management, physical
(term/spot) and derivatives trading, data analysis and market forecast, business expansion and new business development.
For example, SK Trading International generates additional profits through “blending” process. We purchase various feeds
and components from diverse sources at competitive prices and blend them into complete product of higher value.
Based on our global network, oversea clients, storage in Korea and Singapore, and blending know-how, we are carrying
out our blending business successfully. Operation is about managing smooth bunker supply and handling system work
required before/after trading.
What are the strengths of “Bunkering” when it comes to trading?
The benefit of working in the Bunkering Division in a trading business is that you can grow into an
all-rounded trader. The Bunkering Division is especially attractive because you get to experience
supplying all types of fuel oil (LSFO, HSFO, LSMGO)* utilized as a bunker to all ports in Korea,
going through not only just selling internally-produced products but also getting involved and
gaining expertise in the entire process of importing products and selling them, and trading both
spot and futures. In addition, you also get to lead the market under the name of SK, Korea's largest
bunker supplier. That is why I believe it is a job with opportunities that allow you to grow as an
(*) Low Sulfur Fuel Oil, High Sulfur Fuel Oil, Low Sulfur Maine Gas Oil
What skills do you need to specialize in the field of “Bunkering?”
I believe that the key to bunker trading is agility and accuracy. Like a stock market, the bunker trading market opens at a set time each day, and a large number of bids and offers take place. In order to secure both volume and price during the limited trading time, you need to quickly and accurately quote the best price considering various factors, such as inventory status, tanker schedules, competitors' positions, and oil price trends. So, to develop expertise in the field of bunkering, it is best to develop the ability to quickly comprehend and interpret information and utilize the results for quick implementation.
When did you have the most fun working in “Bunkering?”
My favorite memory of working in the bunkering field is attending SIBCON 2022. Attending SIBCON (Singapore International Bunkering Conference and Exhibition), which is the largest bunkering-related event in the world, provided me an excellent opportunity to network and engage in conversations with a diverse range of industry stakeholders, including oil companies, ship owners, traders, and brokers. It was a fulfilling and informative time, sharing knowledge and information. So, this experience remains a fond memory.
What has been the most challenging aspect of working in “Bunkering?”
The most challenging aspect is time management because we work different hours than everyone else. Bunker trading revolves around Singapore, the world's bunkering hub, so we have to trade every day from 5 PM to 8 PM in KST, even on Korean holidays, except for public holidays in Singapore. There is a time difference when working with American and European buyers. I also have to deal with frequent changes in contracts due to weather at sea. It is a bit of a challenge to manage my personal time, but I've been able to take advantage of the company's flexible working hour system to keep my hours as flexible and efficient as possible, which enables me to maintain a good work-life balance.
A word of advice to future members of SK Trading International's “Bunkering” team
SK Trading International is indisputably the largest and the best bunker trading company in Korea. We aim to go beyond Korea and evolve into a globally recognized top-tier bunker supplier. We welcome future new members who will grow with us to become all-rounded traders.