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ENGINE: East of Suez Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

18 May 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:

17 May 2022

  • Singapore’s HSFO imports estimated up in May
  • Availability tight in Zhoushan and South Korean ports
  • Hong Kong’s VLSFO and HSFO remain tight


HSFO remains “super tight” in Singapore. Recommended lead times are up to two weeks. However, a supplier can offer limited deliveries with a shorter lead time of 4-5 days, a trader says.

Recommended lead times for VLSFO are around 10-13 days, while LSMGO has a shorter lead time of 3-6 days.

Some suppliers have stopped sharing organic chloride-detecting GCMS test results, as they have not faced quality concerns lately, a source says. Meanwhile, buyers can get the GCMS testing done on their end.

Swift action by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore regarding chloride contaminated fuel issues has played a part to ease concerns in the market, sources say.

Singapore has been ramping up HSFO imports. According to cargo tracker Vortexa, Singapore has imported 328,000 b/d of HSFO until 12 May, up from 234,000 b/d across April. It projects that HSFO imports will rise to 440,000 b/d for the whole of May.

HSFO cargo inflows from the UAE, Bahrain, Venezuela and Saudi Arabia have helped boost import volumes so far in May.

Singapore’s combined high and low sulphur fuel oil inventories plunged 15% lower in the latest week, while its middle distillate stocks gained weight and bounced off from multi-year lows, according to Enterprise Singapore. Its fuel oil inventories were drawn amid a 17% decline in net imports in the first two weeks of May, compared to April’s weekly average.

The bunkering hub’s total sales in April were roughly steady, but its HSFO sales plunged by 13% as the extent of the contamination issue became clear, according to preliminary figures of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore.

East Asia

Bunker demand picked up and has remained robust in Hong Kong after quarantine restrictions were lifted, adding more pressure on fuel availability. Recommended lead times for VLSFO are around 5-7 days and HSFO around five days. LSMGO is more readily available for prompt deliveries, sources say.

Availability remains tight in South Korean ports. Two suppliers stopped offering fuel to the bunker market earlier this month. They are not expected to offer much for the rest of the month either, amid low inventories and pressure to cater to domestic fuel demand, sources say. Recommended lead times are around 7-10 days for all grades.

Bunker fuel availability remains tight in Zhoushan across all grades. Some suppliers are out of stock for VLSFO and HSFO, while a few suppliers can offer limited prompt deliveries, sources say. A supplier can offer HSFO with the earliest delivery date from 22 May. 

Suppliers in Zhoushan expect availability to remain tight throughout this month, sources say.

In Philippines’ Manila port, LSMGO availability is normal and recommended lead times are around three days, a source says.

South Asia

Bunker fuel availability in India’s Mumbai and Kochi ports is normal. Some suppliers can offer prompt deliveries for VLSFO and LSMGO, a source says.

Bunker deliveries in the Indian ports of Visakhapatnam and Kakinada ports resumed last Friday, allowing suppliers to clear any backlogs. Availability is normal for VLSFO and LSMGO in Visakhapatnam, sources say.

In Sri Lanka’s Colombo, a supplier can offer prompt deliveries for VLSFO and LSMGO, while HSFO remains tight due to a lack of product to supply, sources say. Meanwhile, in Trincomalee, availability is tight across all grades. Some suppliers can offer VLSFO from 23 May at the earliest.

Availability of LSMGO is tight in Bangladesh’s Chittagong, a source says.

Middle East

HSFO availability remains tight in Fujairah and recommended lead times are around nine days. VLSFO and LSMGO availability are slightly better with recommended lead times of six days.

Some suppliers can offer limited prompt deliveries for VLSFO and LSMGO, a trader says.

In Iraqi Basra, availability is normal for VLSFO and LSMGO, sources say. A supplier can offer limited prompt deliveries.

Suppliers in the Omani ports of Duqm and Sohar have normal availability of LSMGO. A supplier can offer prompt deliveries, a source says.


Photo credit and source: ENGINE
Published: 18 May, 2022

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