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ENGINE: Europe & Africa Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

25 Aug 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:

24 August 2022

  • Bunker supply slightly tight in Gibraltar
  • ARA fuel oil, gasoil stocks add more weight
  • Bunkering resumes in Algoa Bay


Northwest Europe

Securing prompt supply of VLSFO and HSFO can be slightly difficult in the ARA hub this week, while LSMGO is more readily available, sources say. The recommended lead time for LSMGO delivery in Rotterdam is three days. HSFO and VLSFO deliveries require longer lead times of around five days.

Independently held gasoil stocks in the ARA have steadily grown since they hit a multi-year low in June this year. The stocks increased by 140,000 bbls to 11.35 million bbls in the week ending 18 August, according to Insights Global data.

Fuel oil stocks in the region also increased by 20,000 bbls to 7.69 million bbls last week, Insights Global data shows.

Meanwhile, there are concerns that vessel congestion may increase in the ARA this week amid strike action at Britain’s Port of Felixstowe. Around 2,000 dockworkers in Felixstowe have started an eight-day strike from Sunday after negotiations over pay hikes failed.

Besides, dockworkers in another British port, Liverpool, are planning a similar strike action.

“With such large strikes carriers are likely to have to offload UK-bound cargo in major hubs such as Antwerp and Rotterdam and as a consequence further worsen existing congestion problems on the continent as well,” liner consultancy firm Vespucci Maritime’s chief executive Lars Jensen said recently.

HSFO can be slightly tight for prompt delivery off Skaw, while some suppliers can offer LSMGO for early dates, a source says. Recommended lead times for the two grades are 7-10 days.

Bunker supply is normal in Hamburg. Recommended lead times for VLSFO, HSFO and LSMGO are around five days, a source says.

LSMGO availability is normal in Bremerhaven, while VLSFO and HSFO deliveries remain subject to enquiries.



Prompt supply of HSFO and VLSFO can be hard to find in Gibraltar, but suppliers can offer LSMGO for prompt dates, sources say. Recommended lead times for VLSFO and HSFO are around seven days, while LSMGO has a shorter lead time of 4-5 days.

More congestion has been reported in Gibraltar this week. There were six vessels waiting to bunker in Gibraltar on Wednesday morning, up from five on Tuesday and around two last week, port agent MH Bland says.

No backlog has been reported in Ceuta this week, according to shipping agent Jose Salama & Cia. Bunker availability is said to be normal in Ceuta, a source says.

Concerns over smooth bunker deliveries have eased in Las Palmas amid calmer weather conditions. Waves have reduced to a more moderate level of 1.6 metres on Wednesday, allowing more suppliers to offer deliveries at weather-exposed outer anchorage, MH Bland says.

Last week, some suppliers were forced to offer deliveries only at Las Palmas’ more sheltered inner anchorage due to harsh weather, a source says. Bunker supply is said to be normal in Las Palmas. The recommended lead time for LSMGO delivery is 3-4 days, a source says.

All ports in Malta and offshore bunkering areas are open for supply, with no backlogs reported, according to Seatrans Shipping agency. Nine vessels were scheduled to arrive for bunkers in and off Malta on Wednesday.



Bunkering resumed in Algoa Bay on Wednesday after remaining suspended for the past five days due to rough weather conditions, according to Rennies Ships Agency.

Waves have come down to a moderate level of 2 metres on Wednesday, from 4.6 metres on Tuesday, and around 7 metres last week. Bad weather and suspended bunkering has created a backlog of vessels in Algoa Bay. Suppliers are now working to clear this backlog, Rennies says.

Three vessels were waiting to bunker at anchorage on Wednesday. 14 more vessels are scheduled to arrive throughout the rest of the days this week. Waves are forecast to rise again on Thursday, which could further disrupt bunker deliveries.

Meanwhile, bunker supply is said to be normal in Algoa Bay and Durban, sources say. Recommended lead times for the two grades are 7-10 days.


Photo credit and source: ENGINE
Published: 25 August, 2022

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