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ENGINE: East of Suez Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook (26 Dec 2023)

VLSFO availability tight in Zhoushan; several Indian ports low on VLSFO and LSMGO stocks; Middle Eastern bunker market unaffected despite Red Sea attacks.

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ENGINE East of Suez 1

The following article regarding regional bunker fuel availability outlook for the East of Suez region has been provided by online marine fuels procurement platform ENGINE for publication on Singapore bunkering publication Manifold Times:

  • VLSFO availability tight in Zhoushan
  • Several Indian ports low on VLSFO and LSMGO stocks
  • Middle Eastern bunker market unaffected despite Red Sea attacks

Singapore

In recent weeks, Singapore's bunker market has encountered challenges, particularly because of some suppliers struggling to meet tight delivery schedules. This predicament has worsened the shortage of VLSFO in the port, causing lead times to extend significantly from just 7-9 days last week to a range of 7-15 days presently. For HSFO and LSMGO, lead times of 5-8 days and 3-5 days are required, respectively.

According to Enterprise Singapore, the city-state's residual fuel oil stocks have seen a notable increase of 7% so far this month compared to November. Net fuel oil imports in the port have decreased by 1% so far in December. Both imports and exports have experienced an upward trend this month, with fuel oil imports rising by 5% and exports surging by 19%.

Conversely, middle distillate stocks in the port have witnessed a significant decline of 14% over the month.

China, East Asia and Oceania

The limited availability of VLSFO in Zhoushan has pushed the grade's prices higher. Due to the tight supply of the grade, some suppliers in the Chinese port are being cautious. They are refraining from committing to delivery dates and opting to quote for firm inquiries exclusively. However, the availability of LSMGO and HSFO remains robust, with recommended lead times of 3-6 days.

In the northern Chinese port of Dalian, VLSFO and LSMGO supply has tightened, while all three grades face supply pressure in the nearby Tianjin region, with deliveries subject to inquiry. Qingdao experiences tight prompt availability of VLSFO and LSMGO, while HSFO supply is subject to firm inquiry.

Southern Chinese ports of Shanghai and Xiamen, grapple with tight availability for VLSFO and LSMGO, while HSFO availability is tight in Shanghai. In Guangzhou, both VLSFO and LSMGO supply is tight, and Fuzhou sees both grades subject to inquiry, contrasting with good supply in Yangpu.

Hong Kong maintains good availability for all three grades, with consistent 5-7 day lead times.

Turning to South Korea, VLSFO availability remains tight in the country's western ports, requiring almost eleven days of lead time, while only one supplier can supply the grade in the southern ports. LSMGO requires ten days of lead time across South Korea. In western South Korea, HSFO is under pressure, forcing most suppliers to only respond to firm inquiries. Meanwhile, the southern part of the country has normal availability with 6-8 day lead times.

However, potential disruptions loom as high waves are predicted intermittently in South Korean ports of Ulsan, Onsan, Busan, Daesan, Taean and Yeosu.

Adverse weather conditions may impact bunkering operations in Subic Bay (Philippines) between 26-19 December and in Tauranga (New Zealand) on 1 January.

South Asia

In Kandla, located on India's northwest coast, the availability of VLSFO and LSMGO remains steady, with prompt supply available. However, other Indian ports, including Visakhapatnam, Tuticorin, Haldia, and Paradip, are experiencing supply pressure for both grades. The earliest deliveries for VLSFO and LSMGO in these ports stretch to the first week of January.

Meanwhile, VLSFO and LSMGO availability is tight at the ports of Mumbai and Cochin. Additionally, there's a forecast of adverse weather conditions in the Sri Lankan port of Colombo on Wednesday, raising concerns about potential impacts on bunkering deliveries in that region.

Middle East

Despite the Red Sea crisis, the Middle Eastern bunker market has remained relatively stable. However, concerns have escalated again after the United Kingdom Marine Trade Operations (UKMTO) reported a new incident 50 nautical miles west of the Yemeni port of Al-Hudayah on Tuesday. Although Maersk's recent announcement to resume Suez Canal transits is a positive development, the region's ongoing uncertainties are being exacerbated by renewed incidents.

Prompt demand for all grades continues to remain tight in the UAE port of Fujairah, with around seven days recommended.

By Tuhin Roy

Photo credit and source: ENGINE
Published: 27 December 2023

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Bunker Fuel Availability

ENGINE: Europe & Africa Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook (24 July 2024)

VLSFO and LSMGO supply is tight in the ARA; HSFO is tight in Piraeus; bunkering remains suspended off Algoa Bay.

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RESIZED ENGINE Europe and Africa

The following article regarding Europe and Africa bunker fuel availability has been provided by online marine fuel procurement platform ENGINE for post on Singapore bunkering publication Manifold Times:

  • VLSFO and LSMGO supply is tight in the ARA
  • HSFO is tight in Piraeus
  • Bunkering remains suspended off Algoa Bay

Northwest Europe

Prompt LSMGO and VLSFO availability have tightened in the ARA hub because of bunker barge loading delays at some oil terminals. Some barges are experiencing delays in loading products from oil terminals, a trader said. This has resulted in product shortages for some suppliers. Recommended lead times for both grades have increased from last week's 3–5 days to 4–6 days now.

Prompt HSFO supply has been tight for the third consecutive week in the ARA hub. Some sources said that shortages in HSFO supply have also resulted from delays in the arrival of replenishment cargoes. Lead times of 5–7 days are recommended for the high-sulphur grade.

The ARA’s independently held fuel oil stocks have averaged 8% lower so far in July than across June, according to Insights Global data.

The region has imported 308,000 b/d of fuel oil so far this month, up from 235,000 b/d of fuel oil imported in June, according to data from cargo tracker Vortexa. The UK has been the ARA's biggest fuel oil source this month, accounting for 18% of the region's total imports, followed by Mexico (17%), Lithuania (11%), France (10%) and the US (7%).

The ARA hub’s independent gasoil inventories — which include diesel and heating oil — have decreased by 4% so far this month. The region has imported 260,000 b/d of gasoil so far this month, down from 356,000 b/d imported in June, according to Vortexa data.

Availability is normal in Germany’s Hamburg, with prompt delivery dates available, a trader said. Lead times of 3–5 days are generally advised for maximum coverage from suppliers.

Mediterranean

Bunker availability is normal in Gibraltar, with lead times of 3–5 days advised by traders.

On Wednesday, the Gibraltar Port Authority cautioned that thick fog could reduce visibility in the port area. Reduced visibility could impact bunkering in the port as barge deliveries become more difficult. Two vessels were waiting for bunkers in Gibraltar on Wednesday, down from three on Tuesday, a source said.

Bunkering was proceeding smoothly in nearby Ceuta on Wednesday, shipping agent Jose Salama & Co. told ENGINE. Bunker fuel availability is normal in the port. Ten vessels were due to arrive for bunkers in Ceuta on Wednesday, up from six on Tuesday, the shipping agent said. Dredging work is still being carried out in the port area, but it has not caused any bunkering delays so far this week.

Availability is normal across all three bunker fuel grades in the Canary Islands’ port of Las Palmas, a trader told ENGINE. Lead times remain unchanged from last week’s 3–5 days for optimal coverage. Calm weather is forecast in Las Palmas for the rest of the week, making it conducive to bunkering.

Demand continues to be low in other bunker ports in the Mediterranean like Piraeus, Malta Offshore and Istanbul, a trader said.

The Greek port of Piraeus has ample availability of VLSFO and LSMGO with lead times of 3–4 days advised. But HSFO is running tight and most suppliers can offer the grade for non-prompt delivery dates. One of the Greek refineries is almost out of HSFO stock, which has led to a supply crunch, a trader said. The grade is expected to remain tight for the remaining days of this month.

Bunkering disruptions are likely to occur between Wednesday and Saturday in Piraeus amid adverse weather conditions forecast in the area. 

Bunker availability is normal in Turkey’s Istanbul port. A trader recommends lead times of 3–4 days in the port area.

Off Malta, availability is normal across all three bunker grades, according to a source. Lead times have remained consistent over the past few weeks at 3–4 days. Rough weather is forecast off Malta on Wednesday and Thursday, which may hamper bunkering in the area.

Africa

Algoa Bay’s offshore bunkering suspension remains in force well into its tenth month in July. The suspension began last September after the South African Revenue Service (SARS) detained bunker barges due to import duty disputes. In June, some of the bunker suppliers removed their barges from Algoa Bay amid the suspension.

Supply is currently limited to in-port deliveries by one supplier in Port Elizabeth, which is adjacent to Algoa Bay.

By Manjula Nair

 

Photo credit and source: ENGINE
Published: 25 July 2024

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Bunker Fuel

ENGINE: East of Suez Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook (23 July 2024)

VLSFO and HSFO availability is tight in Singapore; Taiwanese ports brace for Typhoon Gaemi’s impact; bunker demand is low in Fujairah.

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RESIZED ENGINE East of Suez

The following article regarding regional bunker fuel availability outlook for the East of Suez region has been provided by online marine fuels procurement platform ENGINE for publication on Singapore bunkering publication Manifold Times:

  • VLSFO and HSFO availability is tight in Singapore
  • Taiwanese ports brace for Typhoon Gaemi's impact
  • Bunker demand is low in Fujairah

Singapore and Malaysia

Despite low bunker demand in Singapore, lead times for VLSFO have increased from 5–14 days last week to 12–18 days now due to limited barge availability, according to a source.

HSFO availability also remains tight for both prompt and non-prompt delivery dates in Singapore, with recommended lead times of 11–13 days for the grade. Lead times for LSMGO have experienced significant fluctuations recently. Most suppliers are now advising 12 days for LSMGO, while some can accommodate stems within as little as two days.

According to Enterprise Singapore, the port’s residual fuel oil stocks have averaged 5% lower so far in July compared to June. Singapore’s fuel oil stocks have dropped below 19 million bbls despite a 14% increase in the port's net fuel imports this month. Both imports and exports have declined this month, with fuel oil exports decreasing by 606,000 bbls, significantly more than the 149,000-bbl decline in imports. In contrast, the port’s middle distillate stocks have risen, averaging 7% higher this month.

In Malaysia's Port Klang, VLSFO and LSMGO grades are abundantly available, with some suppliers offering prompt deliveries for smaller stem sizes, but HSFO supply is mostly limited.

East Asia

VLSFO and LSMGO grades are readily available in Zhoushan, with suppliers recommending lead times of 5-7 days. HSFO availability has improved, with lead times dropping from 7-10 days last week to 5-7 days now.

Bunker deliveries in Zhoushan have been halted since Monday due to bad weather induced by Typhoon Gaemi. The typhoon is currently located 470 kilometres southeast of Cape Eluanbi, Taiwan's southernmost point, and moving north-northwest, according to the Chinese weather agency Central Weather Administration (CWA).

The typhoon is expected to make landfall in China’s Fujian province in the early hours of Friday. Wind gusts of 31–41 knots and waves over one meter are forecast to hit Zhoushan between Thursday and Friday. Most suppliers are uncertain about when bunkering operations will resume in Zhoushan.

The Taiwanese ports of Hualien, Kaohsiung, Taichung, and Keelung can offer VLSFO and LSMGO with short lead times of around two days, consistent with last week. A typhoon land warning has been issued for New Taipei and Yilan, Hualien, and Taitung counties in eastern Taiwan in anticipation of Typhoon Gaemi, which is expected to make landfall on the northeast coast of the country between Wednesday night and the early hours of Thursday, the CWA added. Bunkering operations in Taiwanese ports are likely to be suspended on Wednesday and Thursday due to Typhoon Gaemi, according to another source.

In Northern China, VLSFO and LSMGO grades are easily accessible in Dalian, Qingdao, and Tianjin, although HSFO supply is limited in Qingdao and Tianjin. Shanghai has a good supply of VLSFO and LSMGO, but HSFO remains scarce. In Fuzhou and Xiamen, VLSFO and LSMGO grades are readily available, while prompt availability is restricted in Guangzhou and Yangpu.

Hong Kong has an ample supply of all bunker fuel grades, with typical lead times of approximately seven days. Strong wind gusts of 24-27 knots and swells of more than a meter influenced by Typhoon Gaemi are predicted to hit Hong Kong this week, which might affect bunker deliveries at the port.

In South Korean ports, the availability of all fuel grades remains good. Most suppliers are recommending lead times of approximately three days for VLSFO and LSMGO across the country, almost unchanged from last week. For HSFO, lead times of around three days are advised in western South Korean ports, while suppliers in southern ports require a slightly longer 3–8 days. Rough weather conditions may intermittently affect bunker operations in the South Korean ports of Ulsan, Onsan, Busan, Daesan, Taean, and Yeosu between Thursday and Sunday.

In Japan, LSMGO and HSFO supply remains good in the major ports of Tokyo, Chiba, Yokohama, Kawasaki, Osaka, Kobe, Sakai, Nagoya, Yokkaichi, Mizushima, and Oita. On the contrary, VLSFO availability has tightened across all major Japanese ports. VLSFO supply in Tokyo, Chiba, Yokohama, Kawasaki, Nagoya, and Yokkaichi has tightened due to certain unknown technical issues at Japanese refineries. Most suppliers are anticipating VLSFO availability to remain tight until early August, a source says.

Japanese petroleum company Idemitsu Kosan shut its Yamaguchi refinery this March. The refinery had a crude oil processing capacity of 120,000 b/d, according to Reuters. This has constrained supply in Oita, necessitating advance orders, the source added.

Additionally, adverse weather conditions are predicted in the Thai ports of Koh Sichang and Laem Chabang between 23-29 July, in the Philippine port of Subic Bay between 23-26 July, and the Vietnamese port of Ho Chi Minh between 23-29 July, posing potential challenges for bunker deliveries.

Oceania

In Western Australia, VLSFO and LSMGO grades are available at ports including Kwinana, Fremantle, and Kembla, with typical lead times of 7-8 days. In New South Wales, LSMGO is readily available in Sydney, while prompt HSFO supply depends on the enquiry.

Victoria's ports of Melbourne and Geelong have good availability of VLSFO and LSMGO, though prompt HSFO deliveries can be challenging. In Queensland, Brisbane and Gladstone have ample stocks of VLSFO and LSMGO, with lead times around 7-8 days, but HSFO availability is limited in Brisbane.

In New Zealand, Tauranga and Auckland have ample VLSFO supply, with Auckland also having good LSMGO availability. However, Tauranga is expected to experience rough weather conditions on Wednesday, which may impact bunker operations.

South Asia

In several Indian ports, including Kandla, Mumbai, Tuticorin, Chennai, Cochin, Visakhapatnam, and Haldia, VLSFO and LSMGO availability is currently limited due to supply shortages. A supplier in Paradip is nearly out of stock for both fuel grades.

Additionally, Kandla, Sikka, Mumbai, and Visakhapatnam ports are forecast to experience rough weather conditions intermittently this week, potentially disrupting bunker operations.

In contrast, the Sri Lankan port of Colombo has ample supplies of VLSFO, LSMGO, and HSFO grades, with lead times of around two days.

Middle East

Prompt availability of all grades remains tight in Fujairah, with most suppliers recommending lead times of 7–10 days, consistent with last week. A similar situation is observed in the other UAE port of Khor Fakkan, where lead times remain unchanged at 7–10 days.

In Iraq's Basrah, VLSFO and LSMGO are readily available, while the supply of both grades is nearly depleted in Qatar's Ras Laffan.

Supply of VLSFO and LSMGO remains good in the Saudi Arabian port of Jeddah. In Djibouti, LSMGO availability remains good, but VLSFO supply is tight. The Omani ports, including Sohar, Salalah, Muscat, and Duqm, have ample LSMGO available.

By Tuhin Roy

 

Photo credit and source: ENGINE
Published: 24 July, 2024 

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Bunker Fuel Availability

ENGINE: Americas Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook (18 July 2024)

Low demand in Houston and other US Gulf Coast ports; bad weather could disrupt St. Eustatius bunkering; one bunker barge in Zona Comun remains offline.

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RESIZED ENGINE Americas

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:

  • Low demand in Houston and other US Gulf Coast ports
  • Bad weather could disrupt St. Eustatius bunkering
  • One bunker barge in Zona Comun remains offline

North America

Earlier this week, Houston and other US Gulf Coast ports removed all port restrictions, allowing barge traffic to move both ways, according to a source. Since many loaded tankers and bunker barges were unable to leave oil terminals last week due to draft restrictions, there was a significant backlog.

However, congestion subsided by Wednesday, and most suppliers were able to reload their barges.

Bunker demand has been low in Houston this week. Availability of all fuel grades has been normal for prompt supply in Houston. Several suppliers can deliver stems with lead times of 5-7 days.

Bunker demand has picked up again at the New Orleans Outer Anchorage (NOLA) this week. This uptick is due to VLSFO and LSMGO prices in NOLA dropping below those in Houston. Bunker fuel availability is good in NOLA, with several suppliers able to offer both fuel grades for prompt delivery dates.

Availability of VLSFO and LSMGO has been good for prompt dates in Bolivar Roads. Deliveries there are still subject to weather conditions and delivery schedules, a source says.

Bunkering was proceeding normally at the Galveston Offshore Lightering Area (GOLA) as of Thursday morning. Most suppliers are able to deliver VLSFO and LSMGO stems within 3-5 days of lead time.

Demand has been normal in the West Coast ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles this week. Availability of all grades is normal, with lead times of around 5-7 days.

VLSFO and LSMGO availability is normal in the East Coast port of New York. HSFO requires a longer lead time of more than five days, a source said.

Caribbean and Latin America

Bunker fuel demand has been low in Panama's Balboa and Cristobal. VLSFO and LSMGO availability is also good in both locations, and several suppliers are able to supply all fuel grades with a lead time of 5-7 days

Bunker deliveries are expected to be disrupted in St. Eustatius later today due to strong wind gusts of up to 31 knots, which could intermittently disrupt bunker deliveries until Sunday.

VLSFO and LSMGO grades are readily available at Argentina’s Zona Comun anchorage. However, limited barge availability has continued to cause bunkering delays in Zona Comun. The bunker barge Gustavo U has been dry docked since 5 July due to periodic inspections and repairs. A source said the barge is now at the berth and is expected to be operational again later this week.

Bunker demand has remained low in the anchorage, a source says.

Bunker fuel demand has been mostly low in most of the Brazilian ports this week. VLSFO availability is good in most of the ports, according to most suppliers.

By Debarati Bhattacharjee

 

Photo credit and source: ENGINE
Published: 19 July, 2024

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