The following article regarding regional bunker fuel availability outlook for the Americas has been provided by online marine fuels procurement platform ENGINE for publication on Singapore bunkering publication Manifold Times:
4 November, 2021
Availability remains tight amid strong demand in Panama, while recommended lead times have dropped Zona Comun just ahead of potential weather disruptions.
Supply continues to be tight in Panama, especially for HSFO380 but also other grades. Suppliers have been busy with demand picking up in recent weeks and delayed resupply cargoes.
Three suppliers in Balboa have limited availability of VLSFO and LSMGO to supply for prompt dates and can only deliver toward the end of the week or next week. Another supplier recommends lead times of up to 10 days.
Bunker suppliers can generally deliver VLSFO, HSFO380 and LSMGO grades on prompt dates in ports along the Gulf Coast and in offshore locations.
Certain suppliers have tight barging schedules for deliveries in offshore locations like the New Orleans Outer Anchorage (NOLA), as these locations take longer time to reach than locations closer to shore, and longer lead times are advised.
Strong winds and high swells could disrupt deliveries in the Galveston Offshore Lightering Area (GOLA) for a brief period on Thursday, while calmer weather is forecast for the rest of the week.
HSFO380 availability remains tight in the New York, with only certain suppliers able to accommodate prompt stems.
US fuel oil inventories were drawn last week amid higher supply to refineries, blenders and bulk terminals, the latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) figures show.
Stockpiles have gradually been declining in recent months. From an average peak of over 32 million bbls in May, stocks dropped below 29 million bbls in October. Higher demand from refineries, blenders and bulk terminals has drawn fuel oil out of storage tanks.
Widespread hurricane disruptions along the Gulf Coast in September dented production levels pulled fuel oil out of storage.
Gulf Coast refineries recovered fully towards the end of October and have been ramping up fuel oil runs to levels not seen since April. They produced twice as much in October as in September.
High bunker demand has kept suppliers busy at anchorages in Zona Comun and around Bahia Blanca lately, shipping agent Antares says. The earliest delivery dates for VLSFO and LSMGO stretched 4-6 days ahead in Zona Comun last week.
But availability of VLSFO and LSMGO has improved some this week, with recommended lead times coming down to 2-3 days, sources say. Strong winds are forecast to hit Zona Comun and could disrupt bunkering on Friday and Saturday morning.
Photo credit: ENGINE
Published: 5 November, 2021
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