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ENGINE: East of Suez Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

06 Apr 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:

5 April 2022

  • Singapore grapples with HSFO380 chloride contamination
  • Demand picks up with quarantine easing in Hong Kong
  • State emergency and curfews in Sri Lanka hits bunker deliveries

Shipowners are struggling with ongoing claims over organic chloride contamination of HSFO380 that was bunkered in Singapore. Fuel testing firm Veritas Petroleum Services (VPS) says that between February and March it identified 34 vessels that received contaminated HSFO380 from two bunker suppliers in Singapore.

Shipowners and traders are seen avoiding HSFO380 bunker purchases from one of the suppliers, while some traders are reluctant to offer HSFO380 for the time being, sources say. Buyers are requesting GC-MC HS tests of the fuel to rule out contamination before committing to purchases. One supplier is willing to issue these non-standard tests and share results upfront.

Prompt fuel availability remains tight across all grades in Singapore. HSFO380 is “super tight” as only certain suppliers can offer the grade and require 14-17 days of lead time,

VLSFO supply has also tightened in Singapore, with around 10-13 days of lead time required, compared to a shorter 3-5 days for LSMGO.

Singapore’s residual fuel oil and middle distillate stockpiles have been drawn to their lowest levels this year, according to Enterprise Singapore.

In Fujairah, HSFO380 availability remains tight and requires bookings 8-9 days ahead, against 5-6 days for VLSFO and LSMGO. Availability in Fujairah is expected to improve from the second half of April, a source says.

Covid-19 lockdown restrictions has disrupted barge loadings at the Yangshan tanker terminal near Shanghai, curbing fuel resupply, sources say. Container and bulk carrier terminals continue to operate normally in Shanghai, while tanker vessels are struggling with berth availability, the source adds.

In Zhoushan, maintenance work at the Xiazhimen anchorage has delayed bunker operations, sources said. Bunkering at Zhoushan’s other two anchorages – Xiushandong and Tiaozhoumen – continues to operate normally.

Demand in Zhoushan has been slow in past weeks. Prompt deliveries for LSMGO and VLSFO is possible while HSFO380 availability is tight as only some suppliers can offer the grade, sources say.

In Hong Kong, bunker demand has picked up after authorities lifted quarantine rules for cargo and bunker only calls late last week, source say. VLSFO and LSMGO availability is normal and requires around 4-5 days of lead time. HSFO380 continues to be tighter.

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 6-10 days, depending on the supplier. Prompt LSMGO supply has also tightened because of pressure on overall barge availability.

Bunker demand in India’s Mumbai is mostly unchanged, availability of LSGMO and VLSFO has improved and requires 2-4 days ahead, sources say. While in Mundra, availability is tight across all grades and VLSFO requires 7-8 days of lead time.

The Sri Lankan government declared state of emergency and curfews late last week amid protest over the county’s worsening economic crisis.

The curfews have restricted people moving across the country and could impact bunker deliveries of any bunker stems booked, sources say. Availability of LSMGO and VLSFO is tight. Suppliers are struggling to secure replenishment cargoes due to high prices.

 

Photo credit and source: ENGINE
Published: 6 April, 2022

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