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ENGINE: East of Suez Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

09 Mar 2022

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:

09 March 2022

  • Far East Russian bunker demand hit by sanctions
  • HSFO380 lead times shorten in Singapore
  • Fujairah VLSFO availability tight owing to cargo shortages

Widespread hesitation to bunker in Russian bunker ports has weighed on bunker demand in Far East Russian ports like Vladivostok.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and consequent sanctions and counterparty risks have prompted vessels from several foreign countries to shy away from Russian ports, and some from fuels produced with Russian oil.

Bunker cancellations have been mounting and new enquiries have dried up since the invasion started on 24 February, a source says. Domestic Russian vessels are still bunkering in the ports, however.

Prompt availability of VLSFO and LSMGO is still tight in Singapore. A shortage of incoming fuel oil cargoes has contributed to keep VLSFO lead times at 7-8 days out, and LSMGO lead times at 5-6 days.

HSFO380 availability has shown signs of improving, with lead times coming down from 10 days in recent weeks, to 5-6 days now. But the supply situation can quickly change for HSFO380 as relatively fewer suppliers offer the grade than the low sulphur grades.

While Singapore’s net fuel imports fell by 410,000 bbls in the week to 2 March, the port’s stockpiles of fuel oil rose by 370,000 bbls. Middle distillate stocks were also up on the week, adding 560,000 bbls.

In Fujairah, bunker fuel availability remains tight across fuel grades, with suggested lead times of up to nine days for HSFO380 and seven days for VLSFO and LSMGO. A lack of cargo imports and market volatility has made some suppliers hold back on committing to large VLSFO stems, or price them at premiums.

The UAE port’s inventories of heavy distillates and residual fuel oil fell by nearly 7% in the week to 28 February, according to Fujairah Oil Industry Zone and S&P Global Platts data.

Bunker fuel availability remains ample amid weak demand in Zhoushan, says a source. The Chinese port has been pricing VLSFO at sustained discounts to Singapore and Fujairah in recent weeks. Before Zhoushan’s price swung to discounts, the three ports were typically similarly priced.

In South Korea, VLSFO lead times are up to 7-9 days out in southern ports. LSMGO availability remains tight in South Korea with only barge supply available for the fuel grade. No LSMGO indications are given, only price offers on firm enquiries, sources say.

HSFO380 availability remains tight in Hong Kong, while VLSFO and LSMGO grades continue to be more readily available.

Demand has been slow in India due to volatile crude prices. In Mundra port, bunker fuel availability remains normal across all grades. Recommended lead times are around 4-5 days.

In Indian east coast ports such as Visakhapatnam, demand has also been slow in the past few days. Enquiries have almost dried up due to volatile crude prices, sources say. Availability remains good for VLSFO and LSMGO.

Bunker fuel availability in Djibouti is tight across all grades, the earliest delivery date is eight days out, sources say.


Photo credit and source: ENGINE
Published: 9 March, 2022

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