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:
14 March, 2023
Singapore has been seeing average demand over the past few weeks. Total bunker sales also fell on a daily average basis, from 141,000 mt/day in January to 136,000 mt/day in February, according to the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore. That trend has continued into this month, sources say.
Prompt availability of VLSFO and HSFO remains tight in Singapore. Recommended lead times for VLSFO have increased from 5-8 days last week, to 7-10 now. HSFO lead times are similar to last week at 7-10 days.
LSMGO still remains readily available in the port, with almost unchanged lead times of 3-4 days.
Stocks of residual fuel oil in Singapore have averaged 5% lower so far in March than across February, data from Enterprise Singapore shows. The stock draw has come despite a net fuel oil import rise of 6%.
Singapore’s middle distillate stocks, meanwhile, have averaged 16% higher on the month.
Zhoushan continues to see weak demand. Recommended lead times have been almost the same over the last couple of weeks across all grades. VLSFO and LSMGO stems require 3-5 days ahead, and HSFO needs around 5-7 days.
However, strong wind gusts of 18-22 knots and swells of close to a metre are forecast to hit Zhoushan between 17-18 March, which could disrupt bunkering and put pressure on future availability.
Meanwhile, availability across grades remains normal in Hong Kong amid low demand. Lead times are virtually unchanged from last week at around seven days.
Availability has improved across South Korean ports amid average demand, a source says. Lead times of 3-8 days are recommended in the country’s southern ports, down from 5-12 days last week.
Recommended lead times have increased slightly for western ports, from 4-5 days last week to 3-8 days now.
Rough weather is forecast intermittently this week in the South Korean ports of Ulsan, Onsan, Daesan, Taean and Yeosu, which might hamper bunkering.
Bad weather might also impact bunker operations in the Vietnamese port of Ho Chi Minh City between 14-20 March.
Mumbai has good availability of VLSFO and LSMGO, with prompt dates available.
VLSFO and LSMGO can be delivered with around 2-3 days of lead time in several Indian ports, including Kandla on the northwest coast, Cochin and Chennai on the southern coast, and Visakhapatnam on the southwestern coast.
Availability of grades are subject to enquiry in Tuticorin in the southeast coast, while a supplier in Paradip on the eastern coast of India is almost out of stock for both grades.
The Sri Lankan ports of Colombo and Trincomalee have good availability of LSMGO, with prompt dates available.
Availability of the three main fuel grades has improved in Fujairah. VLSFO stems now need around seven days of lead time, and LSMGO requires around five days – much shorter than the 10-11 days recommended last week. Lead times of HSFO have also improved from around eight days previously, to six days now.
By Tuhin Roy
Photo credit and source: ENGINE
Published: 15 March, 2023
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