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ENGINE: Europe & Africa Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

23 Jun 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:

22 June 2022

  • HSFO supply remains tight in Gibraltar Strait ports
  • ARA fuel oil stocks add more weight, gasoil drawn further
  • Suppliers working through backlog in Algoa Bay

 

Northwest Europe

VLSFO and LSMGO availability seems normal in ARA ports, while HSFO is tight for prompt delivery, sources say.

The recommended lead time for VLSFO and LSMGO is around three days, while HSFO requires a minimum of five days for delivery in the ARA, they say.

Independently held fuel oil stocks in the ARA added more weight last week with continuous inflows from Russia.

Fuel oil stocks increased by 460,000 bbls to 8.02 million bbls in the week to 16 June, while gasoil inventory decreased by 340,000 bbls to 10.61 million bbls, according to Insights Global data.

The region’s fuel oil stocks have gradually been increasing since a steep fall in April, and gained 47% in volume since then. Meanwhile, the ARA’s gasoil stocks plunged to fresh eight-year lows in the week to 16 June.

Russia is still estimated to be the top source of fuel oil cargoes for ARA importers, accounting for 42% of their total imports in the two first weeks of June, according to cargo tracker Vortexa.

The Port of Rotterdam said last week that the latest set of sanctions imposed by the EU on Russia have “not (yet) affected” its energy imports due to a transition period for phasing out Russian imports of energy products.

On 3 June, the European Council announced a sixth sanction package, prohibiting imports of crude and oil products from Russia. Seaborne crude imports will be phased out over six months, oil products over eight months.

In the German port of Hamburg, bunker fuel availability is said to be normal, but supply of HSFO is under pressure, a source says. Very few suppliers are offering HSFO in Hamburg and in limited quantities.

In Bremerhaven, supply of LSMGO is good while prompt deliveries of VLSFO and HSFO are more difficult to find there, a source says.

 

Mediterranean

HSFO supply is under pressure for prompt delivery in the Gibraltar Strait ports, sources say.

Few suppliers in the Strait currently have HSFO stocks and are offering the grade in limited quantity. However, availability of LSMGO is said to be normal, with a recommended lead time of around four days.

Minimal congestion has been reported in Gibraltar this week. Two suppliers experienced some hours of delays on Wednesday, port agent MH Bland says.

In Ceuta, availability of LSMGO seems normal, requiring lead time of around four days, a source says. Slight congestion was reported in Ceuta on Wednesday, where two vessels were waiting to bunker at anchorage and 11 more were scheduled to arrive, agent Jose Salama & Cia says.

In Malta, all bunker operations are running normally in Area 3 amid conducive weather conditions, Seatrans Shipping agency says.

Availability of VLSFO and LSMGO seems normal in Malta, as some suppliers are offering deliveries on prompt dates, a source says.

 

Africa

Bunker supplies remain tight in Durban and prompt deliveries of both VLSFO and LSMGO are hard to find, source say.

Some suppliers are expecting replenishment to arrive next week, which could ease pressure on supplies, a source says.

Bunkering is in progress in Algoa Bay, where suppliers have gradually been clearing a backlog of vessels, according to Rennies Ships Agency.

Adverse weather conditions during most part of the last week had built a considerable backlog of vessels in Algoa Bay and Port Elizabeth. Bunkering resumed in the bay on 16 June, after a suspension on 15 June due to rough weather conditions.

There were four vessels waiting to bunker in Algoa Bay and Port Elizabeth, and four more due to arrive later in the day on Wednesday, Rennies Ships Agency says. An additional 15 vessels are scheduled to arrive between Thursday and Sunday, it says.

Bunker fuel availability is normal in Algoa Bay, but erratic weather conditions remain a concern there, a source says. Strong winds and high swells are forecast in the bay between Friday and Saturday, which could disrupt bunker operations again.

 

Photo credit: ENGINE
Published: 23 June, 2022

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