The following article regarding East of Suez bunker fuel availability outlook has been provided by online marine fuels procurement platform ENGINE for publication on Singapore bunkering publication Manifold Times:
17 November, 2021
VLSFO lead times have come down in Singapore, while the grade remains tight in Zhoushan, Japan and South Korea.
VLSFO supplies in Singapore remain constrained amid a pick-up in bunker demand and persistent loading delays at the Universal Terminal on Jurong Island. A Covid-19 outbreak capped manpower at the terminal last month. The queue of bunker barges lined up to load product grew longer and barges have been delayed from loading product since.
Singapore’s recommended lead time for VLSFO peaked at 13-14 days earlier this month, but has now come down to around 10 days as a sign of improved availability. 10 days is still the longest among key East of Suez bunkering ports, however.
LSMGO is slightly more readily available in Singapore with recommended lead times stretching up to seven days. HSFO380 continues to be difficult to procure at a short notice, with 10-12 days ahead generally required.
Singapore’s residual fuel oil inventories fell by 3% last week amid lower net imports, Enterprise Singapore data. The port’s fuel oil exports rose, while imports saw a smaller weekly percentage increase.
Fujairah is also facing tight availability, but with shorter lead times compared to Singapore. Low sulphur fuel grades require up to eight days of lead time in port, while the earliest supply date for HSFO380 is around nine days out.
The UAE port is facing a shortage of incoming cargo volumes, with prompter stems incurring higher premiums.
In Zhoushan, a supplier is expected to receive more VLSFO by 18 November to replenish stocks, while LSMGO is also tight in the Chinese port with the earliest supply dates rolling into December. HSFO380 is also difficult to procure for prompt dates in Zhoushan, as only two suppliers have volumes of the high sulphur grade to supply.
Suppliers in South Korea have been working to clear backlogs after bunkering resumed on 12 November. A bout of bad weather halted deliveries across South Korean ports for days last week.
VLSFO remains tight in South Korean ports, where only one refiner produces significant volumes at the moment. Other suppliers rely heavily on VLSFO imports to replenish their stocks.
Bunker fuels of all grades are in limited availability for prompt dates in Japan. The earliest delivery dates stretch to 26 November in Tokyo Bay. Some suppliers have run low on product amid competition with power plants for fuel oil.
Photo credit: ENGINE
Published: 17 November, 2021
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