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ENGINE: Americas Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

09 Sep 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:

8 September 2022 

  • Low sulphur availability normal in major US ports
  • Vancouver tugboat strike, but limited bunkering impact
  • Prompt supplies tight in Panama


North America

Prompt VLSFO and LSMGO grades are readily available in the Houston area and off the US Gulf Coast. Availability of both grades is said to be tight for prompt delivery dates in Beaumont and Bolivar Roads.

A supplier is unable to commit to prompt deliveries in Beaumont due to a tight barge schedule, but can offer for delivery in Bolivar Roads with around six days of lead times, sources say. Another supplier in Bolivar Roads is fully booked for prompt dates.

VLSFO and LSMGO availability is normal at the New Orleans Outer Anchorage (NOLA). Two suppliers can offer both grades for prompt dates, while another awaits resupply cargoes set to arrive in the coming days, sources say.

VLSFO and LSMGO availability is normal in New York and two suppliers can offer deliveries for prompt dates.

All grades remain tight for very prompt dates in Long Beach and Los Angeles ports on the US West Coast. A supplier is hesitant to commit to supply VLSFO and LSMGO on prompt dates, while another requires 7-8 days of lead times.

Suppliers’ earliest HSFO delivery dates are mostly subject to enquiry across US Gulf Coast and West Coast ports, sources say.

LSMGO availability is good in Canada’s Quebec City and a supplier can supply stems at berth for prompt dates.

Bunker operations continue to run in Vancouver despite strike action led by the Canadian Merchant Service Guild (CMSG). The strike that began on 25 August has brought nearly 30 tugboats operated by Canadian maritime firm Seaspan to a standstill.

The Chamber of Shipping, which represents the marine industry on Canada’s west coast, said that among port operations in Vancouver, bunkering has been the least impacted by the tugboat strike. Another source said that bunkering was initially delayed while some suppliers continued to deliver stems as scheduled.


Caribbean and Latin America

Prompt availability of VLSFO and LSMGO is tight in Panama’s Balboa and Cristobal. One supplier requires 8-9 days of lead time to supply both grades, while another has a shorter lead time 6-7 days.

HSFO supply remains tight in Panama. A supplier requires at least 10 days of lead time, but is unable to guarantee deliveries upon arrival, sources say.

VLSFO supply has improved off Trinidad and its ports as a supplier received resupply with a VLSFO cargo on 3 September. Recommended lead times are about 3-4 days, while some can offer deliveries for prompter dates.

VLSFO and LSMGO is more readily available for prompt dates in Colombia’s Cartagena and Santa Marta. Bunker demand has been good in recent weeks in both ports.

Sources say that demand typically increases towards the end of the year in Colombian ports. Going forward, VLSFO supply could be affected in Cartagena and Santa Marta as a local refinery is unable to match production with demand because of obsolete machinery, a trader says.

VLSFO is generally tight for prompt dates in Brazil’s Rio Grande. Recommended lead times are about nine days in Rio Grande, while Rio de Janeiro has a shorter lead time of 4-7 days.

Availability of VLSFO and LSMGO is tight for very prompt dates in Zona Comun. Some suppliers can offer deliveries with five days of lead times.

Prompt VLSFO supplies are available in Argentina’s Bahia Blanca.

By Nithin Chandran


Photo credit and source: ENGINE
Published: 8 September 2022

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