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ENGINE: Europe & Africa Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

17 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:

16 November 2022

  • Low sulphur supply normal in the ARA and Gibraltar Strait
  • ARA fuel oil stocks building in November
  • Suppliers work through backlogs in Algoa Bay


Northwest Europe

Availability of VLSFO and LSMGO is said to be normal in Rotterdam and other ports in the ARA hub, sources say. Several suppliers can offer very 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.

The ARA’s independent fuel oil stocks have averaged 7% higher so far this month than in October, according to Insights Global data. But even as fuel oil inventories have been building, they are still below their five-year average position for the year.

The region’s average monthly gasoil stocks have decreased some and remain far below their five-year average position.

Workers at the BP refinery in Rotterdam have gone on strike this week after hitting an impasse over pay hikes. However, bunker supply has not been impacted so far, according to market sources. According to Argus Media, most workers at BP’s 393,800 b/d Rotterdam refinery have voted to minimise productivity this week in a work-to-rule action.

Supply of VLSFO and LSMGO is normal off Skaw, requiring lead times of around seven days, a source says. HSFO availability is tight and securing prompt delivery of the product can be difficult there, the source adds.

Prompt supply of LSGMO is good in Bremerhaven, and some suppliers can offer limited quantities of VLSFO.

Bunker fuel supply across all grades has improved in French ports after strike action at five refineries ended there. Workers at TotalEnergies’ 109,300 b/d Feyzin refinery voted to end a strike last week. Strike action at other four refineries ended earlier this month.



Bunker supply is said to be normal in Gibraltar Strait ports. Some suppliers can offer prompt deliveries of VLSFO and LSMGO there, while HSFO deliveries remain subject to enquiries. Meanwhile, demand for LSMGO is said to be good in the region as some suppliers are fully committed for prompt dates, a source says.

Some congestion was reported in Gibraltar and Algeciras on Wednesday. Five vessels were waiting to bunker in Gibraltar on Wednesday, with one supplier running 12 hours behind schedule, according to port agent MH Bland.

Bunker demand seems to be good in Ceuta this week. 12 vessels were scheduled to arrive for bunkers on Wednesday, up from five a week earlier, according to shipping agent Jose Salama & Cia. Bunker supply is said to be normal there.

VLSFO and LSMGO supplies are normal in Malta. Some suppliers can offer deliveries for prompt dates, a source says. All bunkering areas are open for supply in and off Malta. 12 vessels were scheduled to arrive for bunkers across ports and offshore anchorages on Wednesday, Seatrans Shipping Agency says.

Bunker operations are running normally in Las Palmas. Strong winds and heavy swells are forecast to hit Las Palmas over the weekend, which could disrupt deliveries at the port’s outer anchorage. Even in the event of a weather disruption, bunker deliveries via ex-pipe at berth or by barge at the port’s inner anchorage will remain available, port agent MH Bland says. Las Palmas’ inner anchorage has a limited bunker capacity of only one vessel at a time.

In the Greek port of Piraeus, availability of VLSFO and LSMGO is normal, a source says.



Suppliers are working to clear a backlog of vessels in Algoa Bay as bunkering resumed on Wednesday amid calmer weather conditions, according to Rennies Ships Agency. Bunker operations were suspended in the region on Tuesday due to strong winds and heavy swells. Nine vessels are scheduled to arrive for bunkers in Algoa Bay and Port Elizabeth this week, Rennies says.

Prompt supply of VLSFO and LSMGO is said to be normal in South Africa’s Durban and Algoa Bay. Some suppliers can offer prompt deliveries of VLSFO and LSMGO in these locations.

Bunker supply of VLSFO and LSMGO is good in Mozambique’s Maputo and Nacala ports, and bunkering is progressing normally in both the locations, a source says. Four vessels are due to arrive for bunkers in Nacala this week, and two in Maputo, the source adds.

Nacala’s VLSFO price is near parity with Algoa Bay’s, and at wide discounts of $50-70/mt to major South African ports including Richards Bay, Durban and Cape Town.

By Shilpa Sharma


Photo credit and source: ENGINE
Published: 17 November, 2022

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