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ENGINE: Europe & Africa Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

03 Nov 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:

2 November 2022 

  • Prompt VLSFO, LSMGO supply normal in Gibraltar Strait
  • ARA fuel oil stocks plunge to multi-month lows
  • Bunkering suspended in Algoa Bay amid bad weather


Northwest Europe

Bunker supply across all grades is said to be normal in Rotterdam and other ports in the ARA hub, sources say. Several suppliers can offer prompt deliveries of LSMGO in the region. Recommended lead times for LSMGO and VLSFO in Rotterdam are 3-4 days, while HSFO may require 5-6 days, sources say.

Meanwhile, independently held fuel oil stocks in the ARA have dropped to their lowest level since May, according to Insights Global data. The region’s fuel oil stocks decreased by 270,000 bbls to 6.22 million bbls in the week to 27 October and remained below their five-year average position.

According to Vortexa data, the ARA’s fuel oil imports have decreased in October and exports have risen, which could have contributed towards the recent stock draws.

Imports to the region have decreased by 18,000 b/d from September to 302,000 b/d in October. Most of these import volumes have come from Saudi Arabia, the UK, Greece, Germany and the UAE.

The region’s gasoil stocks decreased by 730,000 bbls to 13.08 million bbls. But the stocks continue to be far below their five-year average position.

Supply of VLSFO and LSMGO is normal off Skaw, a source says. Recommended lead times for VLSFO and LSMGO deliveries are around seven days. HSFO requires a longer lead time of around 10 days.



Supply of VLSFO and LSMGO is normal in Gibraltar Strait ports, while HSFO deliveries remain subject to enquiries. The recommended lead time for HSFO in Gibraltar is around seven days.

Meanwhile, the port’s HSFO benchmark is at discounts to several other regional ports including Algeciras, Las Palmas and Malta. But it is at a premium over Ceuta.

Availability of VLSFO and LSMGO is normal in Algeciras, Ceuta and Malta, sources say. But securing prompt delivery of VLSFO can be slightly difficult in Las Palmas, a source says.

In the Greek port of Piraeus, VLSFO supply is tight for prompt dates, a source says. Availability of LSMGO is said to be good there.

Minimal congestion has been reported in Gibraltar, Algeciras and Ceuta this week, while bunker operations are progressing normally in Las Palmas, port agent MH Bland says. Six vessels were scheduled to arrive on Wednesday for bunkers in Ceuta, down from 11 on Tuesday, shipping agent Jose Salama & Cia says.

Strong waves are forecast to hit Las Palmas over the weekend, which could disrupt deliveries in the port’s weather-exposed outer anchorage area.

All bunkering areas are open for supply off Malta. Seven vessels were due to arrive for bunkers in and off Malta on Wednesday, according to Seatrans Shipping agency. Bad weather conditions are forecast over the weekend, which could cause some delays off Malta, a source says.



Bunker operations have been suspended in Algoa Bay due to bad weather, according Rennies Ships Agency. Strong winds and waves of more than 3 meters hit Algoa Bay on Wednesday, disrupting bunker deliveries there. Four vessels were waiting to bunker at anchorage on Wednesday, and 11 more vessels are due to arrive this week, Rennies says.

Bunker supply across all grades is good in Mozambique’s Maputo and Nacala ports, a source says. Bunkering is progressing normally in both of the ports. Four vessels are due to arrive for bunkers in Nacala this week, and one in Maputo, the source says.

In South Africa’s Durban port, supply of VLSFO and LSMGO is said to be normal. Recommended lead times for both the grades is around seven days, a source says.

By Shilpa Sharma


Photo credit and source: ENGINE
Published: 3 November, 2022

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