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ENGINE: Europe & Africa Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook (21 Feb 2024)

Rough weather off Skaw may impact bunkering; non-prompt availability is good in Canary Islands; LSMGO running dry in Durban.

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RESIZED ENGINE Europe and Africa

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:

  • Rough weather off Skaw may impact bunkering
  • Non-prompt availability is good in Canary Islands
  • LSMGO running dry in Durban

Northwest Europe

In the ARA hub, availability is normal across all grades. Lead times of 4-6 days are recommended for HSFO and 5-7 days for VLSFO, a trader says. Meanwhile, LSMGO availability is normal for prompt delivery dates with 2-4 days of lead times.

The ARA’s independently held fuel oil stocks have averaged 3% lower so far this month than across January, according to Insights Global data.

The region has imported 121,000 b/d of fuel oil in February so far, down from 222,000 b/d in January, according to cargo tracker Vortexa data. The ARA hub has imported low-sulphur fuel oil (LSFO) and HSFO in a 63/37 ratio in February so far, unlike in January, when the ratio was tilted more towards HSFO at 48/52.

Sweden continues to be the ARA hub’s biggest fuel oil import source so far this month, accounting for 22% of the ARA’s total imports. The UK (20%) has ranked second, followed by Germany (17%), Poland (16%) and Denmark (11%).

The ARA hub’s independent gasoil inventories — which include diesel and heating oil — have increased by 6% so far this month. The ARA has imported 203,000 b/d so far this month, down from 399,000 b/d of gasoil imported in January.

In the German port of Hamburg, lead times of 3-5 days are still recommended for all three grades.

Off Skaw, HSFO is available only for non-prompt delivery dates and can require lead times of 7-10 days. VLSFO and LSMGO grades are available with comparatively shorter lead times of 5-7 days. Adverse weather is forecast off Skaw for the remaining days of this week and could disrupt bunkering, port agent MH Bland said.

Mediterranean

In Gibraltar, lead times of 6-8 days are recommended for HSFO and 5-6 days for VLSFO. LSMGO can be secured with shorter lead times of 2-4 days. Strong wind gusts of 25-28 knots are forecast to hit the Gibraltar Strait between Thursday and Friday. High winds could impact bunkering in the ports there.

In Ceuta, VLSFO and LSMGO availability are normal. Most suppliers can offer both grades for prompt delivery dates, according to a source.

Availability is normal for non-prompt delivery dates in the Canary Islands ports of Las Palmas and Tenerife. Bunkering in Las Palmas was disrupted on Wednesday because of wind gusts of nearly 25 knots and waves of over 1.5 meters, according to a source.

Rough weather conditions off Malta are likely to impact bunkering at some anchorage locations on Wednesday and over the weekend. Most suppliers can deliver stems for prompt dates, but these deliveries are subject to weather conditions, a trader told ENGINE.

In the Greek port of Piraeus, availability has improved for all grades. The weather is currently calm at the port, but strong wind gusts in the range of 21-31 knots are forecast in the area over the weekend.

Bunker fuel availability is normal in the Turkish port of Istanbul at the moment, with suppliers able to offer grades for prompt delivery dates. Calm weather is forecast for the rest of this week.

Meanwhile, bunkering is progressing normally in the Portuguese ports of Lisbon and Sines. VLSFO and LSMGO availability are normal in these ports.

Africa

LSMGO supply is dry at both Durban and Richards Bay in South Africa. VLSFO supply is available, but lead times of up to two weeks are recommended for the grade, according to a trader.

As a result, several vessels are diverting towards Port Louis for bunkering. However, bunkering in the Mauritius port can be difficult at the moment because of a cyclone warning. Bunker operations in the anchorage area were suspended on Wednesday. Port Louis is unlikely to resume operations before 24 February, which could lead to bunker congestion, MH Bland said.

By Manjula Nair

 

Photo credit and source: ENGINE
Published: 22 February, 2024

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Bunker Fuel

ENGINE: Europe & Africa Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

Availability is tight off Skaw; demand improves in Piraeus and Malta; VLSFO supply available for non-prompt dates in Durban.

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RESIZED ENGINE Europe and Africa

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:

  • Availability is tight off Skaw
  • Demand improves in Piraeus and Malta
  • VLSFO supply available for non-prompt dates in Durban

Northwest Europe

Availability across all grades is normal in the ARA hub. Securing prompt deliveries for HSFO is difficult in the ARA, with traders advising lead times of 4-6 days for the grade. Lead times of 4-5 days are recommended for VLSFO, while LSMGO has shorter lead times of 3-5 days in the ARA.

The ARA’s independently held fuel oil stocks have averaged 5% lower so far this month than across March, according to Insights Global data.

The region has imported 237,000 b/d of fuel oil so far this month, down from 254,000 b/d in March, according to data from cargo tracker Vortexa. The ARA has imported low-sulphur fuel oil (LSFO) and HSFO in a 32/68 ratio so far this month, compared to 45/55 ratio last month.

Mexico has emerged as the ARA's biggest fuel oil import source so far this month, accounting for 23% of the region’s total imports. Both Lithuania and the UK are holding the second position, with each accounting for 15% of the total ARA's imports. Other import sources have been the US (9%) and France (7%).

The ARA hub’s independent gasoil inventories — which include diesel and heating oil — have increased by 3% so far this month. Gasoil stocks have risen to their highest levels since June last year.

Availability in the German port of Hamburg is normal, with prompt delivery dates available across all grades. Lead times of 3-5 days are recommended for all fuel grades.

Off Skaw, all three grades remain in tight supply for the second consecutive week. The tightness has shown no signs of abatement. Extended lead times of 10-14 days are recommended for all grades. Bad weather is forecast off Skaw on Sunday and next Monday, which could complicate bunker deliveries.

Mediterranean

Bunker fuel availability is said to be normal in Gibraltar, but securing grades for prompt supply may still be a challenge. Most traders are recommending lead times of 4-6 days for all three grades. Wind gusts between 12-23 knots are forecast to hit Gibraltar from Thursday onwards, which could delay bunker operations until Saturday. Winds at the higher end of that range can pose problems to bunker deliveries by barge.

Slight congestion was reported in Gibraltar on Wednesday, where nine vessels were waiting to receive bunkers, unchanged from Tuesday, according to a source.

Other Mediterranean ports, such as Piraeus, Malta Offshore and Istanbul, have seen improvements in demand this week, following a patch of low demand in recent weeks, according to a trader.

Availability across all grades is good in the Greek port of Piraeus, a trader said. But rough weather is forecast in the port till Friday, which could affect bunkering in the area.

Prompt availability is good off Malta despite bad weather challenges, a trader said. Wind gusts of up to 26 knots are forecast for Thursday and are expected to intensify to 35 knots on Saturday.

The Turkish port of Istanbul has normal availability of all bunker fuel grades, a trader said. Prompt deliveries are available across all grades, but adverse weather conditions until Saturday may impact delivery schedules.

Africa

Availability of VLSFO and LSMGO is good for non-prompt delivery in Durban, with a trader recommending lead times of 7-10 days for both fuel grades. VLSFO availability is also good in Richards Bay, where lead times are similar to those in Durban.

Bad weather conditions are forecast in Durban until Sunday, which could hamper deliveries.

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has recently requested a second round of public feedback on the proposed amendments to bunkering rules in Algoa Bay. SARS, however, has not provided any clarity on how soon bunkering could resume.

Offshore bunkering has been suspended in Algoa Bay since last September, when SARS detained bunker barges due to import duty disputes. Since then, bunker supply has been limited to in-port deliveries by a supplier in Port Elizabeth, where supply is only available via trucks.

By Manjula Nair

 

Photo credit and source: ENGINE
Published: 25 April 2024

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Bunker Fuel

ENGINE: East of Suez Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook (23 April 2024)

Bunker supply is good in South Korean ports; steady VLSFO and LSMGO supply across several Australian ports; bunker demand dips in Fujairah.

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RESIZED ENGINE East of Suez

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:

  • Bunker supply is good in South Korean ports
  • Steady VLSFO and LSMGO supply across several Australian ports
  • Bunker demand dips in Fujairah

Singapore and Malaysia

Lead times for VLSFO in Singapore have shown significant fluctuations in recent weeks. Currently, most suppliers are suggesting up to 10 days for the grade, while some can accommodate stems within six days.

Prompt HSFO availability in Singapore has improved, with recommended lead times now ranging between 6-10 days, down from 8-14 days last week. For LSMGO, lead times vary widely between 2-8 days in Singapore.

According to Enterprise Singapore's latest data, Singapore's residual fuel oil stocks have averaged 3% higher so far this month compared to March. Despite a 13% decline in the port's net fuel imports this month, the port's fuel oil stocks have remained steady at 21 million bbls. Fuel oil imports in the port have decreased by 334,000 bbls this month, while fuel oil exports have increased by 190,000 bbls. Singapore's middle distillate stocks have also risen by 3% this month to multi-month highs of 10.67 million bbls.

Prompt bio-bunker availability is tight in Singapore, according to two sources.

At Malaysia's Port Klang, VLSFO and LSMGO remain in abundant supply, with some suppliers able to arrange prompt deliveries for smaller quantities. However, the availability of HSFO is tight due to the limited supply available with suppliers.

China, East Asia and Oceania

Tight barge availability has constrained the supply of all grades in Zhoushan, with suppliers suggesting lead times of around 4-8 days for VLSFO and LSMGO, and 6-7 days for HSFO.

In the Taiwanese ports of Hualien, Kaohsiung, Taichung, and Keelung, VLSFO and LSMGO remain readily available amid normal bunker demand. Lead times of about two days are recommended for the grades – almost unchanged from last week.

All grades of bunker fuel are readily available in Hong Kong, with lead times of seven days recommended. Adverse weather conditions are forecast to impact Hong Kong on Friday, which could potentially impact deliveries.

In South Korean ports, all bunker grades remain readily available. Most suppliers are advising lead times of 4-5 days for all grades, which is similar to last week. Rough weather conditions are forecast intermittently throughout this week, which could affect bunker deliveries in the South Korean ports of Ulsan, Onsan, Busan and Yeosu.

In the ports of Kwinana and Fremantle in Western Australia, VLSFO and LSMGO supply is good. Lead times of 7-8 days are recommended in both ports. Heading to Sydney in New South Wales, LSMGO is readily available, while HSFO availability is restricted.

In Victoria, Melbourne has abundant VLSFO and LSMGO stocks, and Geelong also has ample availability of VLSFO. Nevertheless, prompt HSFO supply faces challenges in both Melbourne and Geelong. Moving to Queensland, both the ports of Brisbane and Gladstone boast sufficient stocks of VLSFO and LSMGO, with suggested lead times of 7-8 days. HSFO availability remains limited in Brisbane.

Unfavourable weather conditions are forecasted in the Thai port of Koh Sichang until Wednesday and the Vietnamese port of Hai Phong until Saturday, as well as in the Kiwi port of Tauranga until Friday. Bad weather could make bunker deliveries difficult in these ports.

South Asia

VLSFO and LSMGO availability continues to be limited in Indian ports, with the majority of suppliers facing supply shortages.

Ports including Mumbai, Kandla, Tuticorin, Chennai, Cochin, Visakhapatnam, Haldia, and Paradip are experiencing shortages of VLSFO and LSMGO, resulting in uncertain delivery schedules depending on availability.

On the flipside, the Sri Lankan port of Trincomalee has ample VLSFO, LSMGO and HSFO supply available.

Middle East

Bunker demand in Fujairah has reduced after a slight increase last week, but prompt availability of all grades remains limited due to backlogs caused by recent adverse weather conditions. Suppliers are recommending unchanged lead times of 7-10 days across all grades. Similar lead times are advised in the UAE port of Khor Fakkan.

In Saudi Arabia's Jeddah port, VLSFO and LSMGO supply remains good. However, in Djibouti, some suppliers are facing VLSFO shortages, while LSMGO supply is normal there.

LSMGO is readily available in Omani ports such as Sohar, Salalah, Muscat, and Duqm.

By Tuhin Roy

 

Photo credit and source: ENGINE
Published: 24 April 2024

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Alternative Fuels

ENGINE on Fuel Switch Snapshot: VLSFO holds firm

High demand and low stocks make VLSFO resilient to Brent; rising concerns of supply disruption drive LNG prices higher; bio-bunker premium over conventional VLSFO narrows further.

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ENGINE on Fuel Switch Snapshot: VLSFO holds firm

Once a week, bunker intelligence platform ENGINE will publish a snapshot of alternative and conventional bunker fuel prices in the world’s two biggest bunkering hubs. The following is the latest snapshot: 

  • High demand and low stocks make VLSFO resilient to Brent
  • Rising concerns of supply disruption drive LNG prices higher
  • Bio-bunker premium over conventional VLSFO narrows further

Rotterdam's price premium of LNG over HSFO has increased by $7/mt to $9/mt, after a modest rise in the price of LNG in the past week. HSFO remains the cheapest fuel alternative in Rotterdam.

When the estimated EU ETS cost is included in the bunker fuel costs for voyages between the EU and a non-EU port, Rotterdam LNG’s $4/mt discount to HSFO has flipped to a $4/mt premium in the past week. For a ship sailing from Rotterdam to another EU port with estimated EU ETS costs included, LNG now has only a $1/mt price advantage over its HSFO, compared to $9/mt the week prior.

LNG’s discount to B24-VLSFO in Rotterdam has narrowed even further by $18/mt in the past week, even when estimated EU ETS costs are added to the price. Rotterdam’s LNG is priced at $210-221/mt discount to its B24-VLSFO.

Rotterdam’s B24-VLSFO premium over pure VLSFO has dropped even further by $13-14/mt over the past week, to $87-109/mt.

VLSFO

Rotterdam’s VLSFO benchmark has inched lower by $1/mt in the past week, despite a $30/mt decline in front-month ICE Brent futures. When the price of Dec24 EU Allowances (EUAs) for voyages between two EU ports is added to the VLSFO price, the overall price decreases by $5/mt.

VLSFO demand in Rotterdam has remained steady in the past week, sources told ENGINE. Two traders have reported strong VLSFO demand in the port. Availability is mostly normal, but securing the grade for very prompt dates (0-2 days) can be difficult, the sources added.

The ARA region’s independently held fuel oil stocks have averaged 5% lower so far this month than across March, according to Insights Global data.

Steady demand in Rotterdam and a drop in the wider ARA region's fuel inventories seem to have supported the benchmark's resistance against Brent's downward pull.

Singapore’s VLSFO benchmark has seen a modest $3-5/mt decrease in the past week, depending on whether the price is adjusted with the estimated EUA price for a voyage to an EU port.

Demand for bigger VLSFO stems seems to have increased in Singapore. ENGINE recorded 15 VLSFO stems in Singapore in the wide price band of $634-653/mt. Three 1,500 mt stems were priced in the lower price band between $634-648/mt and seven 500-1,500 mt stems were priced between $643-649/mt.

Biofuels

Rotterdam’s B24-VLSFO HBE bunker price has moved $15-18/mt lower in the past week, to $719-790/mt, depending on whether the fuel is estimated to be consumed on a voyage to an EU port or not.

PRIMA-assessed palm oil mill effluent methyl ester (POMEME) in the ARA dropped by $72/mt on the week, which has put downward pressure on bio-bunker prices in Rotterdam. POMEME-based biofuels are eligible for Dutch advanced biofuel (HBE) rebates.

Singapore’s B24-VLSFO UCOME bunker price has inched only $2-3/mt lower to $761-796/mt.

Prompt bio-bunker availability is tight in Singapore, two sources say. This has partly prevented prices of the most sought-after biofuel blend, B24-VLSFO UCOME, from dropping steeply in the past week.

LNG

Rotterdam’s LNG bunker benchmark has remained roughly steady in the past week.

Concerns that European LNG supply could be disrupted if the Middle East conflict escalates further and the possibility of a Hormuz Strait blockade by Iran have kept the price afloat. The Strait of Hormuz plays a crucial role in LNG transportation. Qatar alone accounts for around 20% of global LNG trade passing through this choke point.

Singapore’s LNG bunker prices has seen a significant rise of $35-37/mt in the past week. This is because the NYMEX Japan/Korea contract rolled from May to a higher-priced June contract last week, which has raised the JKM benchmark.

By Konica Bhatt and Erik Hoffmann

 

Photo credit and source: ENGINE
Published: 23 April 2024

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