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ENGINE: Europe & Africa Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

07 Apr 2022

The following article regarding Europe and Africa bunker fuel availability has been provided by online marine fuel procurement platform ENGINE for post on Singapore bunkering publication Manifold Times:

06 April 2022

  • Availability “super tight” across ARA and Med ports
  • Weather delays Gibraltar Strait bunkering
  • ARA’s gasoil inventories close to eight-year lows

Supply in the ARA ports is “super tight” across all grades. Prompt deliveries have been difficult to find in recent days, sources say.  Suppliers in Rotterdam are running short of fuel and are avoiding offers for prompt deliveries. One supplier can offer LSMGO deliveries in Antwerp from 14 April.

Crude distillation unit (CDU) maintenances at several regional refineries in the ARA could have limited production of residual fuel oil as a by-product.

ExxonMobil’s Antwerp refinery is undergoing a month-long turnaround scheduled to last to 22 April, according to Wood Mackenzie. Shell’s Pernis refinery – Europe’s biggest – is down for a five-month maintenance due to end on 1 June.

ARA’s independently held residual fuel oil stocks shed 10% in the week to 31 March, dropping to their lowest point since December 2019. Its gasoil stocks continued to linger close to eight-year lows, Insights Global data shows.

Russia regained the position as the biggest fuel oil import source to the ARA in the week. Nearly half of all fuel oil import volumes came from Russian ports, according to cargo tracker Vortexa. Other import sources included the UK, Sweden, France and Estonia.

Gasoil mostly arrived from Houston, with some from Portugal and Russia.

In Gibraltar Strait ports, bunker operations resumed on Wednesday after being largely suspended in the beginning of the week amid bad weather conditions.

Around 24 vessels were still awaiting bunkers at Gibraltar on Wednesday, port agent MH Bland said.

Suppliers in Gibraltar are experiencing barge delays, and generally require 4-5 days lead time to supply. One supplier can only offer VLSFO and is out of other grades.

In Algeciras, suppliers continue to deliver stems at its inner A and B anchorages. Deliveries at outer C and D anchorages are subject to a final decision, MH Bland says. Suppliers are delayed by 12-36 hours.

Bunker fuel availability is tight in Algeciras. Certain suppliers can offer deliveries for LSMGO and VLSFO from 11 April onwards, sources say. Other suppliers are fully booked for prompt deliveries.

Meanwhile, bunker operation is only available in Area 6 out of Malta’s six offshore bunkering areas, says MH Bland. Certain supplier can offer deliveries from 13 April for LSMGO and VLSFO, sources say.

Las Palmas bunker deliveries are only possible at the inner anchorage and through ex-pipe at berth, says MH Bland. VLSFO and LSMGO stems require 5-6 days of lead time.

Bunker fuel availability is normal across grades in Hamburg. LSMGO and VLSFO grades require 3-5 days of lead time.

In Italy, availability of HSFO380 and LSMGO remains “super tight” across most ports. The tightness is largely due to the slowdown of Russian imports, which has also affected production at local refinery, sources say. VLSFO availability in Genoa is fine and prompt deliveries are possible, while LSMGO requires 7-10 days.

In Piraeus, availability of VLSFO and LSMGO is tight and lead times of around 7-9 days is recommended, sources say. VLSFO is expected to remain tight until mid-April, the source adds.

Bunker fuel availability is normal in Durban. Suppliers can offer prompt deliveries for LSMGO and VLSFO. Cape Town has tighter availability, sources say.


Photo credit and source: ENGINE
Published: 7 April, 2022

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