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ENGINE: Europe & Africa Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

15 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:

14 September 2022

  • Bunkering resumes in Gibraltar
  • ARA fuel oil inventories slip to six-week lows
  • No bunker backlog in Algoa Bay


Northwest Europe

LSMGO has become more readily available in the ARA hub with several suppliers now offering prompt deliveries, sources say. The recommended lead time for LSMGO delivery in Rotterdam and other ports in the ARA is three days.

Securing VLSFO and HSFO stems for prompt dates can be more difficult, especially for HSFO. Some suppliers are running low on fuel oil in storage and await resupply, sources say. While VLSFO requires a lead time of around 5-7 days, HSFO now needs seven days at the very least.

Independently held fuel oil inventories in the ARA fell by 60,000 bbls to 7.13 million bbls in the week ending 8 September, according to Global Insights. Signs of dwindling Russian inflows seem to have contributed to draw down stocks.

According to cargo tracker Vortexa, Russian fuel oil imports accounted for about a quarter of ARA’s fuel oil imports in July, but nothing was imported throughout August or so far this month.

The cargo tracker has instead picked up fuel oil cargoes flowing into the ARA from the UK, Greece, Germany, Saudi Arabia and other sources. The UK has been the biggest exporter to the ARA in since last month.

With European Union countries preparing to phase out imports of Russian oil products within eight months after an embargo was approved in June, refineries and oil traders in northwest Europe will eventually switch to non-Russian oil.

The region’s gasoil stocks have decreased by 480,000 bbls, to 12.39 million bbls last week.

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.

Bunker fuel availability remains normal in Hamburg and recommended lead times are about five days across all grades.

LSMGO availability is normal in Bremerhaven, but securing VLSFO and HSFO deliveries for prompt dates can be difficult, a source says.



Bunker operations resumed in Gibraltar from last Friday evening, after being suspended for 10 days. Two vessels collided in Gibraltar on 31 August, which caused an oil spill and forced the Gibraltar Port Authority (GPA) to suspend bunkering along with other port operations.

Availability of LSMGO and VLSFO has normalised in Gibraltar and Algeciras, with some suppliers offering prompt deliveries. Recommended lead times are about 4-6 days.

Securing HSFO stems for prompt dates can be slightly difficult in Gibraltar Strait ports, sources say.

With bunkering mostly resumed in Gibraltar, congestion has eased in the nearby ports of Algeciras, Ceuta and Las Palmas. Bunker calls were diverted from Gibraltar to these ports while bunkering was suspended.

Nine vessels were scheduled to arrive for bunkers in Ceuta on Wednesday, down from a peak of 12 last week, shipping agent Jose Salama & Cia says.

In Malta, nine vessels were due to arrive for bunkers on Wednesday, down from a high of 15 last week, according to Seatrans Shipping agency. Bunker supply is said to be normal in Malta, where suppliers can delivery for prompt dates, a source says.

LSMGO availability is said to be normal in Las Palmas, while VLSFO is tight for prompt delivery, sources say.



Bunker supply is said to be normal in South Africa’s Algoa Bay, a source says. No backlog was reported in the region on Wednesday amid conducive weather conditions, according to Rennies Ships Agency. Five vessels are scheduled to arrive for bunkers this week, it 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: 15 September, 2022

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