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Europe & Africa Fuel Availability Outlook

Thursday, 23 November 2023 | 01:00

Northwest Europe

Prompt supply of HSFO is said to be tight in the ARA bunkering hub, requiring lead times of around 7-9 days. Suppliers’ barges are encountering loading delays there, a trader says.

The ARA’s independently held fuel oil stocks have averaged 13% higher in the first three weeks of this month. The region has imported around 217,000 b/d of fuel oil so far this month, down from 243,000 b/d imported in October, according to cargo tracker Vortexa.

Turkey has become the ARA’s biggest fuel oil import source this month. Fuel oil imports from Turkey accounted for 32% of the ARA’s total imports this month, followed by the UK (26%), Germany (8%), Belgium (7%) and Ivory Coast (6%).

Meanwhile, the ARA’s independent gasoil inventories – which include diesel and heating oil – declined by 5% on the month, according to Insights Global data.

VLSFO and LSMGO availability is said to be normal off Skaw, a source says. Lead times of 7-10 days are advised for both grades. However, HSFO supply is still tight for prompt delivery dates, the source adds.

In Germany’s Hamburg port, lead times of 3-5 days are recommended for all the three bunker fuel grades amid good availability, a trader says.

Mediterranean

Availability of VLSFO and LSMGO grades is said to be normal in Gibraltar, with recommended lead times of 5-7 days.

Minimal congestion was reported in Gibraltar and Algeciras on Wednesday. One supplier was experiencing delays of 12-24 hours in Algeciras on Wednesday morning, according to port agent MH Bland.

Securing prompt bunker fuel deliveries can be difficult in Malta. The mediterranean port has been experiencing adverse weather conditions since Saturday. Bunkering was progressing only in bunkering area 3 on Wednesday morning amid rough weather conditions, according to a source.

Rough weather conditions have also impacted port operations in Istanbul, creating severe congestion in the port this week, a source says. Supply of all bunker fuel grades is said to be tight for prompt delivery dates.

Bunker fuel supply is also tight in the Greek port of Piraeus, a trader says.

Africa

LSMGO supply remains tight in the South African ports of Richards Bay and Durban. Recommended lead times for the grade are more than ten days at both ports, according to a trader.

Lead times of 5-7 days are advised for VLSFO deliveries in these ports.

Meanwhile, offshore bunkering has been suspended at the Algoa Bay anchorage for more than a month now. Bunker deliveries came to a standstill there after the South African Revenue Service (SARS) detained bunker barges over import duty disputes in September.

Discussions are ongoing between bunker suppliers and the South African authorities to resolve the bunkering crisis in the bay, a port agent said. The outcome of these discussions is expected to be announced next month, the port agent said.

Meanwhile, bunkering is progressing normally in the adjacent Port Elizabeth.
Source: ENGINE, By Manjula Nair, https://engine.online/news/availability/europe-and-africa-fuel-availability-outlook-22-nov-2023-5448

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