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ENGINE: Europe & Africa Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

10 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:

9 November 2022

  • Low sulphur supply normal in the ARA and Gibraltar Strait
  • ARA fuel oil stocks recover from multi-month lows
  • Bunker supplies normal in Durban, Algoa Bay

Northwest Europe

Prompt supply of VLSFO and LSMGO is 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 bounced back after hitting their lowest levels since May, according to Insights Global data. The region’s fuel oil stocks increased by 1.21 million bbls to 7.43 million bbls in the week to 3 November. But they are still below their five-year average position.

According to Vortexa data, the ARA’s fuel oil exports have increased coming into this month, while its imports have slowed considerably.

The region’s gasoil stocks decreased by 160,000 bbls to 12.92 million bbls last week. The inventories remain far below their five-year average position.

Meanwhile, Antwerp has been hit by strike action this week. Several workers at the port started a 24-hour strike from 06:00 local time (05:00 GMT) on Wednesday morning. There are concerns that the strike could disrupt vessel movements and cargo handling in the port, sources say. Moreover, container shipping firm A.P. Moller – Maersk has cautioned against potential strike action from tugboat workers in Antwerp.

Supply of VLSFO is normal off Skaw, while LSMGO is slightly tight for prompt dates, a source says. Recommended lead times for the two grades are around seven days. HSFO requires a longer lead time of around 10 days.

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

Prompt supply of bunker fuels across all grades is tight in French ports. Some suppliers can offer limited quantities of LSMGO, but securing deliveries for other grades is difficult, a source says. The situation is expected to improve in the coming days as striking workers are gradually returning to work at refineries in France, the source adds.

According to a Reuters report, strike action at TotalEnergies’ 117,000 b/d Feyzin oil refinery in France is continuing, while the walkout at the company’s 240,000 b/d Gonfreville oil refinery ended last week. Strike action at TotalEnergies’ 230,000 b/d Donges’ refinery in western France ended last month.

 

Mediterranean

Bunker supply is said to be normal in Gibraltar. Some suppliers can offer prompt deliveries of VLSFO and LSMGO there, while HSFO deliveries remain subject to enquiries. The port’s VLSFO price is at parity with Algeciras and Malta, and at discounts of $12-14/mt to Las Palmas and Ceuta.

Prompt supply of VLSFO is normal in Ceuta, but LSMGO delivery may require longer lead times of around 5-6 days there, a source says.

One supplier in Gibraltar and two in Algeciras are experiencing delays, according to port agent MH Bland. Strong winds are forecast to hit Gibraltar on Thursday evening, which could cause some delays. Bad weather conditions are forecast to prevail until Saturday.

Bunkering is in progress at outer anchorages in Las Palmas. Swells have been reduced to 1.8 meters on Wednesday from 2.2 meters on Tuesday, MH Bland says.

VLSFO and LSMGO supplies are normal in Malta. Recommended lead times for both the grades are around four days, a source says.

In the Greek port of Piraeus, availability of VLSFO and LSMGO is normal. Some suppliers can offer prompt deliveries.

 

Africa

Bunker fuel supplies are normal in South Africa’s Algoa Bay and Durban. Suppliers can offer prompt deliveries of VLSFO and LSMGO in locations. Recommended lead times are around seven days, a source says.

Strong winds are forecast to hit Algoa Bay on Thursday, Friday and Sunday, which could disrupt bunker operations there, a source says.

Bunker supply across all grades 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 one in Maputo, the source adds.

By Shilpa Sharma

 

Photo credit and source: ENGINE

Published: 10 November, 2022

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