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ENGINE: East of Suez Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

05 Apr 2023

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:

4 April 2023

  • VLSFO remains tight in Singapore
  • Zhoushan faces weather disruptions
  • Good availability in several Indian ports



Availability of VLSFO is still tight in Singapore, with recommended lead times of 9-11 days – almost same as last week. LSMGO and HSFO availability, meanwhile, has improved slightly over the same time period.

Lead times for LSMGO in Singapore have shortened to 3-6 days now, from 4-7 days previously. HSFO stems now need 6-9 days of lead time – down from 8-11 days.

Singapore’s residual fuel oil stocks have averaged 2% higher in March than in February, according to Enterprise Singapore. Stocks are up amid a 9% rise in net fuel oil imports. Both imports and exports are up this month.

Meanwhile, Singapore’s middle distillate stocks have surged 23% higher in March.


East Asia

Bunker deliveries have been suspended by rough weather in Zhoushan for the most part since Sunday, a source says.

The Chinese bunkering hub is currently experiencing strong wind gusts of 23-49 knots and swells of more than a metre. Adverse weather conditions are forecast to persist, and bunker operations are likely to resume fully on Thursday, when calmer weather is forecast.

Prompt availability of VLSFO remains tight in Zhoushan, with recommended lead times of 5-8 days – almost the same as last week. HSFO stems need around seven days of lead time, while LSMGO is readily available.

Availability of all bunker fuel grades has been getting tighter in Hong Kong as replenishment cargoes have been delayed, a source says. Lead times of 8-9 days are recommended across grades now – slightly up from around seven days last week.

Meanwhile, all grades have also been getting tighter in southern South Korean ports, with lead times varying widely between 3-12 days. Lead times are shorter in western South Korean ports at around four days across all grades – virtually unchanged from last week.

Rough weather is forecast intermittently between today and 9 April in the South Korean ports of Ulsan, Onsan, Daesan, Taean and Yeosu, which might hamper bunkering.

Adverse weather conditions are also predicted to hamper bunker operations in the Vietnamese port of Ho Chi Minh City on 8 April, and in the Kiwi port of Tauranga between 7-8 April.


South Asia

VLSFO and LSMGO availability remains good in India’s Mumbai, Visakhapatnam and Kandla, with short lead times of 2-3 days.

Cochin and Chennai on the southern coast of India also have good availability, while VLSFO and LSMGO remain subject to enquiry in Tuticorin and Haldia. A supplier in Paradip is almost out of VLSFO.

However, the Indian port of Kandla is struggling with congestion and backlogs, which is only expected to ease by 7-8 April, and adverse weather conditions are forecast to hit the west coast port of Sikka and southwestern port of Visakhapatnam between 8-12 April and 12-13 April, respectively.


Middle East

Bunker schedules are under pressure for all three bunker fuel grades in Fujairah as several suppliers are working to clear backlogs caused by bad weather last week.

However, recommended lead times for VLSFO and LSMGO have shortened from 10-11 days last week to nine days now. HSFO requires almost 12 days – almost unchanged from last week. Some suppliers can offer prompt stems of all grades depending on the quantity, a source says.

Meanwhile, the UAE port of Khorfakkan has good availability across all grades, with recommended lead times of 5-7 days.

By Tuhin Roy


Photo credit and source: ENGINE
Published: 5 April, 2023

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