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ENGINE: East of Suez Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

25 Mar 2021

The following article regarding regional bunker fuel availability outlooks for East of Suez ports with special attention to availability in Singapore has been provided by online marine fuels procurement platform ENGINE for publication on Singapore bunkering publication Manifold Times:

23 March 2021 

Availability for low sulphur stems has improved in Fujairah, Zhoushan and Busan this week, while supplies remain tight in Singapore, Japanese and Far East Russian ports.

Lead times for VLSFO stems have tightened by one day this week in Singapore, now requiring 7-10 days, while LSMGO stems are more readily available at 4-6 days. HSFO380 is still scarce in the bunkering hub, as lead times remain at 12-15 days, as they have been for several weeks. 

Singapore’s residual fuel oil inventories are at their highest level in three months. The inventories inched up by 50,000 bbls to 22.85 million bbls on 17 March, according to data from Enterprise Singapore.

Singapore has built fuel oil stocks by pulling more fuel oil cargoes from the West with arrival this month. Weekly imports averaged 7.41 million bbls in March, up from 6.54 million bbls in February. A near halving in fuel oil exports from February to March has also contributed to retain more product in the bunker hub. 

Fujairah’s VLSFO market was tight last week, as a refinery experienced production issues in the port two weeks ago, which limited VLSFO supply and extended lead times to 11 days. As the supply squeeze has eased, lead times have now gone back to six days. Fujairah’s fuel oil stocks jumped last week, helping bring down lead times for bunker fuel oils in the ports.

LSMGO stems are more readily available in Fujairah with three days of lead time needed.

Zhoushan has good availability of all bunker fuel grades. Suppliers can accommodate prompt supply in the Chinese port, with two days of lead time now, down from three days last week.

The neighbouring port of Shanghai has also good bunker availability, with suppliers able to offer with two days of lead time.

Fuel tightness continues to be an issue in Far East Russian ports. Two local refineries are currently undergoing maintenance. HSFO380 and LSMGO stems are particularly tight in local ports, with lead times stretching to 14-15 days. Prompt VLSFO stems can still be found, but only for smaller quantities.

Bunker fuels have become more available in South Korean ports this week, with lead times for low sulphur bunker fuels in Busan dropping from 10 days to 3-5 days ahead now. HSFO380 stems are still tight in the country’s western and southern ports, as they have been for several weeks.

At the same time, VLSFO and LSMGO stems have tightened in Tokyo this week, with lead times going up to 10-11 days now. One supplier continues to operate under berth restrictions due to carried out maintenance in Tokyo Bay, contributing to keep the port’s market tight. The berth maintenance is scheduled to last for the rest of the month.

Japanese fuel oil inventories have grown to similar volumes as a month ago, after two weeks of stock draws. The country’s low sulphur fuel oil stocks were up by nearly 3% in the week to 13 March, data from Petroleum Association of Japan has shown.


Photo credit: ENGINE
Published: 25 March, 2021

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