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ENGINE: East of Suez Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

LSMGO availability good in Singapore; demand weak in Zhoushan; several ports face weather disruptions.




ENGINE East of Suez Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

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:

21 February 2023

  • LSMGO availability good in Singapore
  • Demand weak in Zhoushan
  • Several ports face weather disruptions



Singapore has been witnessing steady bunker demand so far this week. Availability of prompt dates for VLSFO and HSFO remains tight in the port, with recommended lead times of 7-9 days and 8-9 days, respectively. This is almost same as the previous week’s 7-8 days and 6-9 days, respectively.

Residual fuel oil stocks in Singapore have averaged 2% higher so far in February than in January, according to Enterprise Singapore. The port’s net fuel oil imports have declined 6% so far this month than across January. Both fuel oil imports and exports are down this month.

Meanwhile, Singapore’s middle distillate stocks are down 11% lower so far this month amid few incentives to store product in a backwardated market.

The port’s LSMGO price currently lingers around multi-month low levels after having lost a massive $122/mt since the beginning of this month. The downward LSMGO price trend in Singapore has largely mirrored front-month Singapore 10ppm gasoil futures.

Singapore 10ppm is in backwardation, with nearly $8/mt between the front- and second-month contracts. Its second-to-third month spread is slightly wider at around $9/mt. LSMGO stems need lead times of 2-3 days, steady with prior week.

Strong wind gusts between 19-22 knots are forecast in Singapore on 26 February, which may hit bunkering operations.


East Asia

Bunkering has resumed at Zhoushan's slightly sheltered Xiushandong anchorage and at the inner anchorage of Mazhi after being suspended by bad weather on Monday evening, according to White Whale Shipping Agency.

Meanwhile, rough weather has kept bunkering halted in the Tiaozhoumen and Xiazhimen anchorages. The port is currently witnessing strong wind gusts of up to 17 knots.

Bunkering operations are likely to resume in the Tiaozhoumen and Xiazhimen anchorages from morning tomorrow when calmer weather is forecast.

Fuel availability remains tight for prompt dates across all grades in Zhoushan, but recent bouts of weather disruptions have hit bunker demand and by extension prevented further tightness in the port. VLSFO and LSMGO stems require lead times of 3-5 days, and HSFO needs 5-7 days.

However, strong wind gusts of 19-24 knots and swells of close to a metre are forecast to hit the Chinese bunkering hub between 24-25 February, which might lead to another bunker suspension.

Strong wind gusts and swells are also forecast to hit Hong Kong between 21-22 February and towards the beginning of next week, which might impact bunkering operations in the port.

Availability remains good across all grades in Hong Kong, while demand has been sluggish. VLSFO and LSMGO stems require lead times of around four days in the port, down from seven days previously. Prompt dates for HSFO are, however, subject to enquiry, a source says.

Bunker demand remains sluggish across South Korean ports, a source says. Lead times across all grades in southern South Korean ports are 4-8 days, down from a wide range of 3-11 days in the prior week. Meanwhile, stems require 3-4 days in western South Korean ports, almost same as the last week’s around four days.

Bad weather is forecast intermittently through the week in the South Korean ports of Ulsan, Onsan, Daesan, Taean and Yeosu, which may hamper bunkering, a source says.

Bad weather might disrupt bunker operations in the Philippine port of Subic Bay between 25-28 February.

The Thai ports of Koi Sichang and Leam Chabang are likely to experience adverse weather conditions between 26-28 February, which might hamper delivery of stems.


South Asia

VLSFO and LSMGO remains readily available in India’s Mumbai, with short lead times of 2-3 days.

Availability of VLSFO and LSMGO remains good in Kandla on India’s northwest coast, with lead times of 2-3 days advised.

Cochin and Chennai on the southern coast of India have good availability of both VLSFO and LSMGO, with lead times of 2-3 days recommended. Meanwhile, availability of both the grades remains subject to enquiry in Tuticorin.

Prompt dates are available for both VLSFO and LSMGO in Visakhapatnam on India’s southwestern coast.

Availability of the grades in Haldia on India’s east coast is subject to enquiry.

However, the Indian ports of Kandla, Sikka and Mundra are struggling with congestion and backlogs, which is only expected to ease by 27 February, a source says.

LSMGO and HSFO are readily available in the Sri Lankan port of Colombo, with prompt dates possible.


Middle East

Availability across all grades remains tight in Fujairah as several suppliers are working to clear backlogs created by rough weather conditions over the weekend. A source says suppliers are working through choppy weather conditions to prevent congestion at the port.

Normal bunker demand at the UAE port has contributed further to the tightness of the port. Lead times of around seven days are recommended across all grades in the port now. While lead times are up for VLSFO (around six days) and LSMGO (around four days) from the previous week, it has come down for HSFO (almost 11 days).

Availability of LSMGO remains very good in the Omani ports of Muscat, Salalah, Sohar and Duqm, with prompt dates available.

By Tuhin Roy


Photo credit and source: ENGINE
Published: 22 February, 2022

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China Shipping & Sinopec Suppliers completes first biofuel bunkering op of passenger ship in Dalian

Firm successfully refuelled passenger ship “Chang Shan Dao” owned by Cosco Shipping Ferry with B24 bio bunker fuel on 29 November at Dalian Cruise Port.





China Shipping & Sinopec Suppliers completes first biofuel bunkering op of passenger ship in Dalian

China Shipping & Sinopec Suppliers Co., Ltd. on Wednesday (29 November) successfully refuelled passenger ship "Chang Shan Dao" owned by Cosco Shipping Ferry Co., Ltd. with B24 bio bunker fuel at the Dalian Cruise Port. 

The occasion marked the first biofuel bunkering operation for passenger ships in China. 

The B24 biofuel oil used was blended with 24% biofuel and 76% conventional low-sulphur fuel oil.

Sinopec China Shipping Fuel Supply, which is responsible for the bunkering operation, is a bunker supply firm jointly established by Sinopec Group and COSCO Shipping Group.

According to Li Zhi, Deputy Party Secretary and Deputy General Manager of China Shipping & Sinopec Suppliers Co., Ltd., the biofuel bunkering business is another step in the company's active business of the group's development strategy. 

The bunkering operation after the firm completed the first bonded biofuel bunkering operation of a domestic ship on 7 September. 

Disclaimer: The above article published by Manifold Times was sourced from China’s domestic market through a local correspondent. While considerable efforts have been taken to verify its accuracy through a professional translator and processed from sources believed to be reliable, no warranty is made regarding the accuracy, completeness and reliability of any information.

Photo credit: China Shipping & Sinopec Suppliers
Published: 8 December, 2023

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Alternative Fuels

Singapore, Tianjin to pilot and trial alternative bunker fuels following shipping corridor MoU

Singapore – Tianjin Green and Digital Shipping Corridor will serve as a valuable testbed for both countries to pilot and trial digital solutions, alternative fuels and technologies, amongst others.





Singapore, Tianjin to pilot and trial alternative bunker fuels following shipping corridor MoU

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and the People’s Republic of China’s Tianjin Municipal Transportation Commission on Wednesday (6 December) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to establish the Singapore – Tianjin Green and Digital Shipping Corridor.

Mr Teo Eng Dih, Chief Executive, MPA, and Mr Wang Zhinan, Director General, Tianjin Municipal Transportation Commission, signed this MoU.

The MoU marked the first Green and Digital Shipping Corridor established between Singapore and China to support the decarbonisation, digitalisation and growth of the maritime industry between Singapore and the Bohai Region. 

The Singapore – Tianjin Green and Digital Shipping Corridor will serve as a valuable testbed for both countries to pilot and trial digital solutions, alternative bunker fuels and technologies, and facilitate talent development to support the decarbonisation and digitalisation of shipping. 

Singapore and Tianjin will work with the research community, the  institutes of higher learning, and industry stakeholders such as shipping lines, port operators, shipbuilders, classification societies, and bunker suppliers to enable more efficient port clearance through digital exchanges, encourage the offtake of zero or near-zero greenhouse gas emission fuels and adoption of new fuel technologies, spur innovation and support the growth of the maritime startups community, and facilitate manpower training and professional development.

The establishment of the Singapore – Tianjin Green and Digital Shipping Corridor reaffirms the strong commitment by Singapore and Tianjin to accelerate maritime decarbonisation and digitalisation. Singapore will also be exploring the establishment of similar collaboration with other maritime and port ecosystems within China.

Photo credit: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
Published: 8 December, 2023

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Report highlights routes-based action plan methodology to accelerate uptake of clean bunker fuels

NextGEN Connect-GreenVoyage2050 collaboration, which includes Singapore, emphasises the important role of regional energy hubs in enabling the inclusive adoption of clean marine fuels.





Report highlights routes-based action plan methodology to accelerate uptake of clean bunker fuels

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) on Thursday (7 December) said the NextGEN Connect-Green Voyage2050 Project identified a key role for regional hubs to help connect large demand clusters and remote locations, with regional fuel supply sources, in order to enable a more inclusive and effective transition to a low-carbon maritime future. 

The project is a collaboration between Singapore, Norway and the International Maritime Organization (IMO). 

These findings were unveiled in the Lloyd’s Register Maritime Decarbonisation Hub (LR MDH) report titled Routes-based Action Plans: A Toolkit launched at the Voyage to Net-Zero Forum, which was organised by MPA, at the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28/CMP8/CMA5) yesterday.  

The report was developed following a workshop discussion that was held from 5 to 6 October 2023 in Singapore, with the participation of 40 stakeholders representing ports and National Administrations across Asia, based on the concept of the LR MDH’s First Movers Framework for green corridors. The workshop simulated the process steps of the routes-based action plan methodology, addressing the limitations in its application in the wider Asian context. Additional engagements with stakeholders from the Pacific are envisaged to further refine the methodology. 

“One of the key findings in our report highlighted the varying pace of decarbonisation efforts across the Asian region and the need for regional coordination among governments to establish energy clusters that will serve both as demand centres and energy producing hubs” said Charles Haskell, Director at LR MDH. 

The creation of energy producing hubs includes defining a strategy that brings together demand from different countries at different developmental stages across the region to build up investment cases for implementing energy infrastructure at scale, all the while taking into consideration the economic and social benefits for local communities. 

The report also emphasised that routes-based action plans should be steered by national governments to give confidence to the industry’s infrastructure investment decisions, with development banks and regional funds needing to play a part to help tailor financing solutions to support infrastructure development. 

“If we truly want to achieve a net-zero future where no one is left behind, we cannot focus only on existing first mover initiatives. We must also study locations where the energy infrastructure is still in its infancy”, added Charles Haskell. 

Essential to driving the implementation of routes-based action plans, as highlighted in the report, is the pooling of resources and capacity building to develop the business case for building the necessary infrastructure for regional hubs that include Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS). This will require regional coordination and collaboration involving governments and all stakeholders across the maritime supply chain.

Mr. Teo Eng Dih, Chief Executive of MPA, said: “As we steer toward a sustainable maritime future, fostering a collective and inclusive approach is imperative in the development of green corridors and the energy transition to decarbonise international shipping.”

“The NextGEN Connect-GreenVoyage2050 collaboration emphasises the important role of regional energy hubs in enabling the inclusive adoption of clean marine fuels, particularly for LDCs and SIDSs. MPA looks forward to continuing its collaboration with IMO, Ministry of Climate and Environment of Norway and LR MDH to pilot solutions to reduce GHG emissions from ships and drive innovative transformations in the maritime industry.”

Sveinung Oftedal, Chief Negotiator of the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment, said: “Separate routes for emission-free ferries and ships can play an essential role in stimulating early action to adopt zero or near-zero emission technologies and fuels, and hence are an important step towards decarbonising shipping. There is currently a significant volume of maritime traffic between Asian countries, and our workshop was a great forum to discuss opportunities the decarbonisation of maritime shipping can bring and how efforts can be linked to countries’ wider energy transition.”

Jose Matheickal, IMO Director of Partnerships and Projects, said: “Supporting developing countries, including SIDS and LDCs, in their efforts to implement the 2023 IMO Strategy on the Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships is imperative to the decarbonisation of the maritime sector. IMO is pleased to provide, through this collaboration, practical support around the development and subsequent implementation of National Action Plans and route-based actions in line with IMO’s MEPC RESOLUTION.366(79) that encourages Member States to undertake these voluntary actions to facilitate the achievement of greener shipping and reduced emissions.” 

Note: ‘Routes-based action Plans: a toolkit’ can be found here

Photo credit: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
Published: 8 December, 2023

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