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ENGINE: Americas Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

25 Mar 2022

The following article regarding bunker fuel availability in the Americas region has been provided by online marine fuel procurement platform ENGINE for post on Singapore bunkering publication Manifold Times:

  • Prompt supply tight in Houston and LA/LB
  • US fuel oil stocks and production fall despite higher refinery utilisation
  • Zona Comun VLSFO and LSMGO tight amid refinery turnaround

Prompt delivery dates can be tight in the Houston area, with some suppliers unable to deliver VLSFO and LSMGO prompt and others citing their earliest dates 3-5 days ahead.

A supplier is out of all fuel grades in Houston and is uncertain when its stocks will get replenished. HSFO380 is generally tighter than VLSFO and LSMGO and may require longer lead times.

All grades are tight for prompt dates in Los Angeles and Long Beach, with LSMGO particularly tight with one supplier.

A supplier in New York has announced a barge surcharge increase from 1 April. Its new surcharge means that 51% of the cost of fuel is now added on top to cover barging costs.

Other suppliers in New York and other US East Coast ports raised surcharges to 22% earlier this month, after not previously having had any surcharges. They will be updated on a monthly basis.

US fuel oil stocks fell last week as a build on the Gulf Coast was countered by East Coast and West Coast draws, according to EIA government data.

The country’s stocks have shed 3% from a high of 27.54 million bbls at the start of the month.

Stocks have been drawn amid a 7% boost in supply out to refiners, blenders and bulk terminals on a weekly average in March compared to February, and a 6% drop in imports.

Refinery production has been steady between the months even as total refinery utilisation has risen to seven-year highs in the two most recent weeks. Higher refinery utilisation should normally yield more fuel oil as a by-product, but refiners have been eager to maximise distillate yields amid low stocks and soaring prices.

VLSFO and LSMGO availability ranges between normal to tight for prompt dates in Panama, with around four days of lead time required with certain suppliers in Balboa.

Prompt VLSFO and LSMGO supply remains tight in Zona Comun. The earliest delivery dates vary between suppliers, ranging from 4-5 days to 11 days.

VLSFO has been tight in Argentina since the PAE Campana refinery shut for planned maintenance, shipping agent Antares says, and expects product flows from the refinery to normalise towards the end of March.

Campana shipped some low sulphur fuel oil cargoes intermittently in the months before the maintenance, especially to Buenos Aires, with the last cargo going there in late January, Vortexa cargo data shows.


Photo credit and source: ENGINE
Published: 25 March, 2022

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