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ENGINE: East of Suez Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

Wednesday, 10 July 2024 | 00:00

Singapore and Malaysia

In Singapore, the immediate availability of VLSFO (0–2 days) remains limited despite average demand. Most suppliers are now suggesting lead times ranging from 7–11 days for this grade. The supply of prompt HSFO is also tight, with lead times now extending to 8–12 days, up from 6–9 days in the previous week. LSMGO lead times remain stable at 2–5 days, similar to last week.
According to recent data from Enterprise Singapore, residual fuel oil stocks in Singapore averaged 10% higher in June compared to May. Fuel oil stocks averaged about 20 million bbls, despite a 19% decrease in net fuel oil imports in June. Both imports and exports declined, with fuel oil imports decreasing by 907,000 bbls, surpassing the 166,000-bbls decline in exports.

Additionally, middle distillate stocks at the port dropped by an average of 14% in June compared to May.

In Malaysia’s Port Klang, availability of VLSFO and LSMGO remains robust, with projected lead times of approximately 3-5 days. Smaller parcel sizes can be delivered even more quickly, according to sources. However, HSFO supply in Port Klang continues to be constrained.

East Asia

In Zhoushan, VLSFO and LSMGO supply remains robust, with most suppliers now suggesting lead times of 3-5 days, down from 5-7 days last week. HSFO availability has shown improvement, with lead times dropping from 7–10 days recommended in the week prior to 4–7 days now.

In Northern China, VLSFO and LSMGO grades are readily available in Dalian, Qingdao, and Tianjin, but HSFO supply is limited in Qingdao and Tianjin. Shanghai has good availability of VLSFO and LSMGO, but HSFO remains tight. In Fuzhou and Xiamen, VLSFO and LSMGO grades are readily available, while prompt availability is constrained in Guangzhou and Yangpu.

The Taiwanese ports of Hualien, Kaohsiung, Taichung, and Keelung can offer VLSFO and LSMGO with short lead times of 2-4 days, similar to last week.

In Hong Kong, all fuel grades are available with recommended lead times of approximately seven days, with some suppliers capable of quicker deliveries for smaller stem sizes.
In South Korea, the availability of VLSFO and LSMGO has notably improved. Lead times for these grades have reduced from 11-15 days last week to 2-6 days in southern South Korean ports. HSFO lead times have also decreased to 7-10 days from 8-18 days previously.

In western South Korean ports, availability of all grades has significantly improved with lead times of approximately three days.

Bunker operations in various South Korean ports such as Ulsan, Onsan, Busan, Daesan, Taean, and Yeosu may face intermittent disruptions this week due to anticipated adverse weather conditions.

In Japan, bunker demand continues to be low. Lead times may differ across major Japanese ports, ranging from 5-7 days in Tokyo, Chiba, Osaka, Kobe, and Mizushima, to longer periods of 12–13 days in Nagoya, Yokkaichi, and Oita.

The ports of Ho Chi Minh and Hai Phong in Vietnam are bracing for inclement weather, which is expected to complicate bunkering intermittently during this week. Similarly, the Thai ports of Koh Sichang and Leam Chabang expect adverse weather from 12-15 July, potentially impacting bunker operations in these regions.


In Western Australia, VLSFO and LSMGO grades are available at ports including Kwinana, Fremantle, and Kembla, typically with lead times of 7-8 days.

In New South Wales, LSMGO is easily available in Sydney, while prompt HSFO supply depends on enquiry. Victoria’s Melbourne and Geelong ports offer good availability of VLSFO and LSMGO, though prompt HSFO deliveries can be challenging.

In Queensland, Brisbane and Gladstone have ample stocks of VLSFO and LSMGO, with lead times around 7-8 days, but HSFO availability is limited in Brisbane.

In New Zealand, Tauranga and Auckland have plentiful VLSFO supply, with Auckland also having good LSMGO availability. However, Tauranga faces forecasted rough weather conditions over the weekend that may impact bunker operations.

South Asia

In multiple Indian ports, such as Kandla, Mumbai, Tuticorin, Chennai, Cochin, Visakhapatnam, and Haldia, the availability of VLSFO and LSMGO is currently constrained due to supply shortages. A supplier in Paradip is almost depleted of stocks for both fuel grades.

Mumbai, Kandla, Sikka, and Visakhapatnam ports are expected to face intermittent rough weather conditions this week, potentially disrupting bunker operations.

In contrast, the Sri Lankan port of Colombo has abundant supplies of VLSFO and LSMGO grades.

Middle East

In Fujairah, prompt availability of all grades remains limited, with most suppliers requiring lead times of 5-7 days, similar to last week. However, high winds and waves since Monday have affected bunker barge loadings at some product terminals in Fujairah. This may impact bunker supply schedules and extend lead times over the coming days. Despite the rough sea conditions, some suppliers have continued to deliver stems as per schedule, a source says.

Prompt availability of all grades is also tight in the UAE port of Khor Fakkan, where suppliers recommend lead times of 5-7 days. Meanwhile, Jeddah port in Saudi Arabia has ample supply of VLSFO and LSMGO. In Djibouti, VLSFO supply is under pressure, while LSMGO is more readily available.
Source: ENGINE, By Tuhin Roy, https://engine.online/news

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