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ENGINE: Americas Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

30 Dec 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 the Houston area
  • Bad weather continues to disrupt GOLA bunkering
  • Suppliers in Trinidad await resupply cargo


North America

All grades are tight for prompt dates in the Houston area and off the US Gulf Coast. Securing stems for very prompt dates (0-3 days) can be even trickier. Several suppliers in Houston have held back offers for prompt dates amid fear of possible fog disruptions over the coming days.

Thick fog and reduced visibility is forecast from Friday around the Houston Ship Channel and can trigger channel closures. The channel has been shut to vessel traffic because of poor visibility since Wednesday night.

Bad weather continues to disrupt bunker supplies in Galveston Offshore Lightering Area (GOLA). Multiple weather disruptions in the past weeks have led to significant bunker backlogs in GOLA. Many suppliers have held back all offers for both prompt delivery dates and for dates further out.

Meanwhile, supply at the more sheltered Port of Galveston is easier, where suppliers continue to deliver stems as scheduled. Calmer weather is forecast for Saturday in GOLA, before wind speeds are set to pick up again to potentially trigger another suspension or delay from next Monday.

All grades remain tight for prompt dates in the West Coast ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles as in recent weeks. One supplier can supply VLSFO stems in Long Beach with eight days of lead time. But a longer lead time of at least 10 days is generally recommended to ensure full coverage from all suppliers.

LSMGO availability is tight in Tacoma port on the West Coast. One supplier is running low on stock, while another has held back offers for prompt dates as it has tight barge availability. Securing HSFO in West Coast ports can be tricky for both prompt and dates further out as the grade is offered by relatively fewer suppliers.  

Bunker availability remains steady for all fuel grades in Mexico’s Manzanillo. Recommended lead times for HSFO, VLSFO and LSMGO are about five days out.

Caribbean and Latin America

All grades are tight for prompt dates in Panama’s Balboa and Cristobal. Recommended lead times for 

VLSFO and LSMGO are similar to last week’s 6-8 days.

LSMGO availability is very tight in offshore Trinidad. Supply dates can be unpredictable as some suppliers await resupply cargo. One supplier has pulled back all offers for both prompt and dates further out. It expects to resume offers after a resupply cargo arrives next week.

Another supplier expects an LSMGO resupply cargo to arrive by 12 January, a source says.

Bunker fuel availability is normal in Colombia’s Cartagena and Santa Marta. Recommended lead time for VLSFO and LSMGO are about 3-4 days, a trader says.

Prompt VLSFO and LSMGO supply can be slightly tight at Argentina’s Zona Comun anchorage. One supplier can deliver stems from 8 January. Another can supply VLSFO for very prompt dates (0-3 days), but is running low on VLSFO stock.

By Nithin Chandran


Photo credit and source: ENGINE
Published: 30 December, 2022

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