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ENGINE: East of Suez Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

30 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:

29 March 2022

  • VLSFO supply under pressure in Singapore
  • Bunker business as usual in Shanghai during city lockdown
  • Demand slows in Hong Kong

Prompt fuel availability remains tight across all grades in Singapore. HSFO380 and VLSFO are especially tight and require around 10-11 days, while LSMGO is more readily available with shorter lead times of 3-5 days.

Singapore’s residual fuel oil stocks dropped last week after four weeks of consistent build-ups, according to Enterprise Singapore. The port’s middle distillate stocks, which include gasoil and other products, held steady on the week and remain below their five-year average.

Delivered VLSFO price premiums over ex-wharf are narrow in Singapore, indicating supplier willingness to move product to avoid holding too much stock in a steeply backwardated market.

Singapore’s net fuel oil imports have gradually declined and more than halved since January. According to cargo tracker Vortexa, fuel oil inflows are also expected tail off further in April.

In addition to lower cargo inflows, Singapore’s VLSFO availability is also under pressure from a stronger pull on gasoil cargoes and lower availability of low sulphur blendstocks. With many European buyers now shunning Russian imports, loadings of Asian gasoil with options to deliver in Europe are set to double on the month in March, according to S&P Global Commodity Insights.

In Fujairah, HSFO380 remains in tighter supply than low sulphur grades, requiring 10 days of lead time against 7-8 days for VLSFO and LSMGO.

Some suppliers in Fujairah are still avoiding some offers for larger stem sizes due to the volatility in the market, sources say.

Bunker operations continue to run smoothly in Shanghai despite the city entering a new Covid-19 lockdown. The measures do not extend to cover shipping, and bunker operations remain unaffected so far, sources say, adding that all deliveries are being carried out on schedule.

Availability of HSFO380 is relatively tighter in Zhoushan compared to LSMGO and VLSFO. Recommended lead times are 8-9 days for HSFO380, whereas VLSFO and LSMGO require 4-5 days ahead.

South Korea’s southern ports of Busan, Ulsan and Yeosu continue to see tight prompt availability. Suggested lead times for VLSFO in these ports range from 6-12 days, depending on the supplier. Prompt LSMGO supply has also tightened due to pressure on overall barge availability.

Bunker demand has been slow in Hong Kong over the past few days. “Enquiries have dropped compared to last year,” sources say. VLSFO and LSMGO availability is normal and stems require 4-5 days of lead times. HSFO380 availability is tight as fewer suppliers can offer the grade.

LSMGO availability in the Philippines’ Manila is normal and requires 4-5 days ahead. Bunker demand has been slower this month amid higher bunker prices and volatility, sources say.

In Colombo, the availability of VLSFO is very tight and only certain suppliers can offer limited quantities, sources say. LSMGO availability is better and prompt deliveries are possible.

In Mumbai, bunker fuel availability is tight across all grades. Suppliers are mostly offering prices for firm enquiries only, sources say. Demand is said to be normal, without any notable uptick in enquiries.

Bunker fuel availability in Bangladesh’s Chittagong is normal. Recommended lead times are around 3-5 days across all grades.


Photo credit and source: ENGINE
Published: 30 March, 2022

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