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ENGINE: Europe & Africa Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

08 Sep 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:

7 September 2022

  • Bunkering remains suspended in Gibraltar
  • ARA fuel oil stocks fall 10% amid dwindling Russian inflows
  • Algoa Bay bunkering resumes after five-day suspension


Northwest Europe

Several suppliers can offer prompt LSMGO deliveries in the ARA hub, sources say. VLSFO and HSFO supplies are in tight availability for prompt dates and require lead times of 5-7 days. The recommended lead time for LSMGO delivery in Rotterdam and other ports in the region is three days.

Independently held fuel oil inventories in the ARA fell by nearly 10% last week after consistently growing for four straight weeks, according to Insights Global data.

The region’s fuel oil stocks decreased by 790,000 bbls to 7.19 million bbls in the week ending 1 September. The region’s fuel oil stocks maintained steady growth through most of August amid lower exports. But signs of dwindling Russian inflows seem to have contributed to draw stocks in the latest week.

According to cargo tracker Vortexa, Russian fuel oil imports accounted for about a quarter of ARA’s fuel oil imports in July, but nothing flowed in from Russia in August or so far in September.

Meanwhile, the region’s gasoil stocks have increased by a slight 50,000 bbls to 12.77 million bbls last week, Insights Global data shows. These inventories have grown steadily since they hit a multi-year low in June this year.

Some suppliers can offer limited quantities of LSMGO and HSFO off Skaw. Recommended lead times for the two grades are around seven days, a source says.

VLSFO and LSMGO availability is normal in Italy’s Ravenna and Marghera, a source says.



Bunker operations have been suspended in Gibraltar since Thursday as local authorities continue to oversee work to pump out fuel from the damaged dry bulk carrier OS 35.

Gibraltar Port Authority (GPA) has confirmed that most of the fuel has been extracted from the vessel and the situation is stable now. The port authority might decide to resume normal port operations on Wednesday after reviewing the overall situation, GPA says.

On Tuesday last week, dry bulk carrier OS 35 collided with LNG carrier Adam LNG while it was trying to manoeuvre out of the Bay of Gibraltar. The OS 35 started leaking fuel oil on Thursday last week, and since then work has been underway to clean up the oil spill.

All inbound vessel traffic to Gibraltar’s western anchorage and outside the port limit (OPL) has been halted since last week. Meanwhile, suppliers in Gibraltar have fuel volumes to supply, but deliveries have been held back due to the port closure.

While bunkering remains suspended in Gibraltar, bunker calls have been diverted to nearby ports such as Algeciras, Ceuta and Las Palmas, sources say.

There has been good bunker demand in Algeciras, Las Palmas and Malta this week, sources say.

Heavy congestion has been reported at Algeciras’ inner and outer anchorages, port agent MH Bland says. Bunker calls have also increased in Ceuta, where 12 vessels were scheduled to arrive for bunkers Wednesday, up from seven on Tuesday, according to shipping agent Jose Salama & Cia.

Suppliers in and off Malta are said to be busy for the next two-three days to meet higher bunker demand in the region, a source says. All bunkering areas are open for supply in and off Malta, according to Seatrans Shipping agency. 15 vessels were scheduled to arrive for bunkers on Wednesday, up from 12 on Tuesday.



Bunkering resumed in Algoa Bay on Wednesday amid calmer weather conditions, according to Rennies Ships Agency. Strong winds and heavy swells have kept Algoa Bay bunkering suspended since Friday, while it resumed in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday. Waves have come down to a level of 2 metres on Wednesday from above 6 metres on Monday.

10 vessels are scheduled to arrive to bunker in Algoa Bay and Port Elizabeth this week, Rennies says.

Bunker supply is said to be normal in Algoa Bay, where suppliers are working to clear bunker backlogs, a source says.

VLSFO and LSMGO availability is normal in Durban, and some suppliers can offer delivery for prompt dates, a source says. Recommended lead times for the two grades in Durban are around seven days.

By Shilpa Sharma


Photo credit and source: ENGINE
Published: 8 September 2022

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