A further narrowing of the spread between high and low sulphur bunkers means shipowners could take up to four years to pay back their scrubber retrofit costs.

The price of ship fuel has been dropping as a result of lower crude prices, although high-sulphur fuel oil (HSFO) has been more resilient than low-sulphur fuel oil (LSFO), Clarksons Platou Securities said.

Over the past week, HSFO prices on a global basis have declined by $23 per tonne to $200, while LSFO fell $50 to $275.