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ENGINE: East of Suez Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

03 May 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:

2 May 2023 

  • VLSFO availability tight in Singapore
  • Zhoushan could face weather disruptions
  • Demand good in Hong Kong



Demand has been low on average in Singapore so far this week. Availability of VLSFO remains tight in Singapore, with lead times now stretching to almost two weeks out – up from 9-11 days last week.

LSMGO stems have required much shorter lead times of 4-6 days this week and last week. Lead times of HSFO vary widely and are between 3-10 days this week, down from 5-11 days last week.

Singapore’s residual fuel oil stocks averaged 6% higher in April than in March, according to Enterprise Singapore. Fuel oil inventories gained amid a marginal 1% increase in net fuel oil imports.

Meanwhile, Singapore’s middle distillate stocks averaged 11% lower in April than in March.


East Asia

Prompt availability is tight in China’s Zhoushan. Recommended lead times for VLSFO and LSMGO are around six days now – significantly down from over two weeks and 10-12 days, respectively, at the end of last week. Recommended lead times for HSFO have also shortened from 10-12 days at the end of last week to 6-8 days now.

Bunker activity remains muted in the Chinese port due to Labour Day holidays that last from 29 April to 3 May.

Furthermore, bunker operations in Zhoushan could be suspended tomorrow, when bad weather is forecast, a source says. Strong winds of 21-25 knots and swells of more than a metre are expected to hit the Chinese bunkering hub between 3-5 May, which could further disrupt bunker deliveries.

Availability of VLSFO and HSFO has gotten tighter amid good demand in Hong Kong. Lead times for both grades are up from around seven days last week, to 10-11 days now. LSMGO availability remains good in Hong Kong as well, with prompt dates available.

Meanwhile, prompt availability for all bunker fuel grades remains tight across South Korean ports, with lead times varying widely between 4-11 days – virtually the same as last week.

Bad weather is forecast intermittently in the South Korean ports of Ulsan, Onsan, Daesan, Taean and Yeosu between 4-7 May, which might impact bunker operations.

The Philippine port of Subic Bay is forecasts to experience adverse weather on 3 May, and the Kiwi port of Tauranga between 3-8 May, which might hamper bunkering.


South Asia

VLSFO and LSMGO availability remains good in Kandla on India’s northwest coast and in Visakhapatnam on the southwest coast, 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 availability in Mumbai. Both grades are subject to enquiry in Tuticorin and Haldia.


Middle East

Availability of all bunker fuel grades remain tight for prompt dates in Fujairah. Lead times of 5-7 days are recommended across all fuel grades. That is the same as last week for VLSFO and LSMGO, while HSFO lead times have come down from nine days last week.

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: 2 May, 2023

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