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:
9 November, 2021
Bad weather has halted bunkering in Zhoushan and Yellow Sea ports for several days, while VLSFO lead times have come down in Singapore and Fujairah this week.
Bunkering has resumed in Shanghai, after a storm halted bunker operation in ports along China’s eastern and northern coast from last Friday.
Shanghai has good availability of VLSFO and LSMGO with lead times standing at 2-3 days, while HSFO380 is more difficult to procure in the Chinese port.
Meanwhile, Ningbo-Zhoushan is still experiencing strong winds and bunkering remains suspended. After gale in Zhoushan on Monday, winds calmed some on Tuesday, but more gale-force winds are forecast for Wednesday.
Weather conditions are forecast to calm in Zhoushan from Thursday, to allow suppliers to start clearing backlogs from Friday. Long vessel queues are expected.
A supplier has replenished its HSFO380 stocks in Zhoushan, which could bolster availability in the port once the weather has calmed and suppliers catch up with backlogged orders.
Several Yellow Sea ports including Dalian, Qingdao, Rizhao and Lanshan have also been hit by rough weather. Bunker supply operations have therefore been halted and expected to resume from Thursday onwards.
The same storm has also affected ports in South Korea, but without any bunker suspensions. While outer anchorage bunkering is possible, suppliers are advising vessels to move into inner anchorages to ensure safe delivery.
Singapore’s residual fuel oil inventories have added 2% amid higher net imports and stood at 22.32 million bbls last week, according to Enterprise Singapore data.
Singapore’s bunker market continues to face delivery challenges, with tight barge schedules and loading congestion reducing availability of prompt product.
VLSFO now requires up to 12 days ahead in the bunkering hub, which is two days shorter than last week, but still the longest among East of Suez ports. LSMGO is slightly more available at 6-8 days, while lead times for HSFO380 are steady on the week at 10-12 days.
Fujairah’s bunker market continues to be tight for all three fuel grades, although lead times have come down some on the week. VLSFO and LSMGO require up to six days of lead time in the UAE bunkering hub, compared to five days of lead time for HSFO380.
At the same time, Fujairah’s fuel oil stocks shrunk by 4.2% to 7.39 million bbls in the week to 1 November, data from the Fujairah Oil Industry Zone (FOIZ) and S&P Global Platts showed last week.
Bunker fuel availability remains tight in Japan. Lead times of up to 12 days are advised for VLSFO and HSFO380 stems in Tokyo Bay. Domestically produced fuel oil is being diverted to the power sector, which has increased its appetite amid rising gas prices and the winter onset, according to a source. The waiting time for LSMGO is shorter.
Fuel availability is also tight in Japan’s western ports since some refineries are under maintenance, and fuel oil going to power generation and heating.
Photo credit: ENGINE
Published: 10 November, 2021
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