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ENGINE: Europe & Africa Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

Thursday, 24 November 2022 | 01:00

Northwest Europe

Supply of VLSFO and LSMGO is said to be normal in Rotterdam and other ports in the ARA hub. Suppliers can offer delivery of LSMGO for prompt dates. Recommended lead times for LSMGO and VLSFO in Rotterdam are around four days, while HSFO may require 5-6 days, sources say.

The ARA’s independent fuel oil stocks have averaged 3% higher so far this month than in October, according to Insights Global data. Even as fuel oil inventories have been building this month, they are still below their five-year average position for the year.

The ARA’s average gasoil stocks have come down and remain far below their five-year average position.

According to market sources, the workers’ strike at the BP refinery in Rotterdam has not impacted bunker supplies in the ARA. According to Argus Media, most workers at BP’s 393,800 b/d Rotterdam refinery voted to minimise productivity last week in a work-to-rule action, after hitting an impasse over pay hikes.

Supply of VLSFO and LSMGO is normal off Skaw, requiring lead times of around seven days, a source says. Securing prompt delivery of HSFO can be difficult there, the source adds.

Bunker supply is said to be normal in the UK’s Falmouth port, where suppliers can offer prompt delivery of LSMGO, a source says.

Prompt supply of LSMGO is also good in Bremerhaven, a source says.

Mediterranean

Bunker fuels supply is still slightly tight in Gibraltar Strait ports. Some suppliers can offer VLSFO and LSMGO deliveries for prompt dates there, while HSFO supply remains subject to enquiries. HSFO delivery in the region requires a minimum lead time of seven days, a source says.

One supplier in Gibraltar and three in Algeciras are running behind schedule, according to port agent MH Bland.

All bunkering areas have been closed for supply off Malta since Tuesday as strong winds and heavy swells have disrupted deliveries there, according to Seatrans Shipping agency. One bunkering area is expected to resume operations from Thursday morning, when calmer weather conditions are forecast. 12 vessels were scheduled to arrive for bunkers across ports and offshore anchorages on Wednesday, Seatrans says.

Outer anchorage bunkering has been suspended in Las Palmas since Monday due to bad weather conditions. The weather is forecast to remain harsh in Las Palmas until Sunday, which could keep bunker operations suspended at the port’s weather-exposed outer anchorage. Meanwhile, bunker deliveries via ex-pipe at berth, or by barge at the port’s inner anchorage, are available, MH Bland says. Las Palmas’ inner anchorage has a limited bunker capacity of only one vessel at a time.

Bunkering is progressing normally in Ceuta with seemingly good demand this week. 11 vessels were scheduled to arrive for bunkers on Wednesday, largely unchanged from 12 a week earlier, according to shipping agent Jose Salama & Cia. Bunker supply is said to be normal there.

In the Greek port of Piraeus, availability of VLSFO and LSMGO is normal, a source says.

Africa

Bunker operations are running normally in Algoa Bay. But strong winds are forecast to hit the region on Thursday, which could cause delays. 17 vessels are scheduled to arrive for bunkers in Algoa Bay and Port Elizabeth this week, according to Rennies Ships Agency.

Prompt supply of VLSFO and LSMGO is said to be normal in South Africa’s Durban and Algoa Bay. Recommended lead times for the two products is around seven days, a source says.

Bunker supply of VLSFO and LSMGO continues to be good in Mozambique’s Maputo and Nacala ports, and bunkering is progressing normally in both the locations, a source says. Five vessels are due to arrive for bunkers in Nacala this week, and three in Maputo, the source adds.
Source: ENGINE, By Shilpa Sharma (https://engine.online/)

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