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ENGINE: Europe & Africa Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

08 Dec 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 December 2022

  • ARA fuel oil stocks grew in November
  • Supply steady in Gibraltar Strait
  • Algoa Bay suppliers working through backlogs


Northwest Europe

VLSFO availability is said to be normal in the ARA hub, while securing prompt deliveries of HSFO and LSMGO can be slightly difficult amid good demand, a source says. Recommended lead times for LSMGO and VLSFO in Rotterdam are around four days, while HSFO requires around 5-6 days, sources say.

The ARA’s independent fuel oil stocks averaged 2% higher last month than in October, according to Insights Global data. Even as fuel oil inventories increased in November, they were still below their five-year average position for the year.

According to cargo tracker Vortexa, the ARA primarily imported fuel oil imports from the UK, Saudi Arabia, Poland, Iraq and Lithuania in November. Most of these volumes comprised low sulphur fuel oil (LSFO). Vortexa has not picked up any Russian cargo imports to the region since August.

The ARA’s average gasoil stocks were steady in November at 12.91 million bbls, but this was far below their five-year average position for the time of the year.

Supply of VLSFO and LSMGO is said to be normal off Skaw, requiring lead times of around seven days, a source says. Prompt availability of HSFO is slightly tight there, the source adds.



Bunker fuels supply across all grades is said to be normal in Gibraltar Strait ports. Lead times of 3-4 days are advised for VLSFO and LSMGO deliveries in the region, and HSFO requires around five days, a source says.

Two suppliers in Gibraltar and one in Algeciras experienced delays on Wednesday, according to port agent MH Bland.

Availability of VLSFO and LSMGO is normal in Algeciras and Las Palmas. But prompt supply of the two grades is slightly tight off Malta, a source says. Lead times of 5-6 days are advised for bunkering off Malta due to limited barge availability, a source says.

Malta is seeing strong bunker demand. 15 vessels were scheduled to arrive for bunkers in and off Malta on Wednesday, according to Seatrans Shipping agency.

Meanwhile, suppliers have been struggling to deliver stems at Las Palmas’ outer anchorages in the recent days due to bad weather conditions. But some suppliers have resumed bunker deliveries at the port’s weather-exposed outer anchorage this week amid calmer weather conditions, a source says. Strong waves are forecast to hit Las Palmas on Friday, which could disrupt deliveries at its outer anchorage once again.

Bunker demand continues to be good in Ceuta. An average of nine vessels have arrived to bunker in Ceuta each day this week, compared to 11 vessels on average each day last week. Bunker supply is said to be normal there.

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



Bunker supply is also steady in South Africa’s Durban and Algoa Bay. Lead times of around seven days are advised for VLSFO and LSMGO deliveries in Durban, a source says.

Suppliers are working to clear bunker backlogs in Algoa Bay. Deliveries in the bay resumed on Tuesday after being suspended for four days due to bad weather conditions, according to Rennies Ships Agency. Four vessels were waiting to receive bunkers at anchorages in the region on Wednesday, Rennies says.

Bunker fuel demand has been growing in Mozambique’s Nacala recently, according to market sources. The number of bunker calls in the port have picked up gradually, from four vessels in each of the first two weeks of November, through to 5-6 vessels in the two last weeks of November, to 12 vessels expected this week.

Prompt supply of VLSFO and LSMGO is said to be steady in both Nacala and Maputo.

By Shilpa Sharma


Photo credit and source: ENGINE
Published: 8 December, 2022

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