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ENGINE: Europe & Africa Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

12 Jan 2023

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:


11 January 2023

  • ARA stocks recover after 2022 draws
  • Bunkering temporarily halted off Malta
  • Fuel availability normal in South African ports


Northwest Europe

Most suppliers in Rotterdam are booked up for prompt dates this week, indicating good demand in the region, according to sources. Availability of VLSFO and LSMGO grades is said to be normal in the ARA bunkering hub, with recommended lead times of around 3-4 days. HSFO requires a longer 5-6 days ahead.

The region’s fuel oil stocks have recovered from draw last year. The inventories have averaged 4% higher so far this month than in December, according to Insights Global data. Even as fuel oil stocks have increased on the month in January, they remain below their five-year average position for the year.

According to cargo tracker Vortexa, no Russian fuel oil cargoes arrived in the ARA between August and November last year. Fuel oil inflows from Russia then resumed in December, and Russia emerged as the fifth-largest fuel oil source for the ARA in January.

The ARA’s gasoil stocks have averaged 12% higher so far this month, compared to December levels. Russia remains the top source for gasoil imports in the ARA with 54% of the total, according to Vortexa.

Supply of VLSFO and LSMGO is said to be normal in the German port of Hamburg, while HSFO delivery prospects remain subject to enquiry.

Bunker fuels supply is normal normal-to-tight for prompt dates off Skaw, requiring lead times of around seven days, a source says. HSFO deliveries are subject to enquiries in the region, the source adds.

In France’s Montoir port, prompt supply of LSMGO is said to be normal.



Bunker fuels supply is also normal in Gibraltar Strait ports. Recommended lead times for VLSFO and LSMGO grades in Gibraltar are around 3-4 days, and HSFO requires 5-6 days, a source says.

Slight congestion was reported in Gibraltar on Wednesday, where two suppliers experienced 2-6 hours of delays, according to port agent MH Bland.

Bunkering was progressing normally in Ceuta and Las Palmas on Friday. Strong waves of 2.2 meter are forecast to hit Las Palmas on Thursday, which could cause delays. Seven vessels were scheduled to arrive in Ceuta on Wednesday, according to shipping agent Jose Salama & Co.

All bunkering areas were reopened for supply off Malta on Wednesday after being suspended for a day due to rough weather, according to Seatrans Shipping agency. However, weather conditions are forecast to deteriorate over the next few days, which could complicate deliveries there, a source says.

An average of 11 vessels have arrived for bunkers in and off Malta this week, and suppliers have ample stocks to offer prompt deliveries, a source says.

In the Greek port of Piraeus, prompt supply of VLSFO and LSMGO is normal.



Bunker fuel availability is said to be normal in Algoa Bay and in Durban. Lead times of seven days are recommended for deliveries in both regions, a source says.

Bunker operations were in progress in Algoa Bay on Wednesday. But strong winds and heavy swells are forecast to hit the region on Thursday and Friday, which could hamper bunker deliveries there, a source says.

One vessel was waiting to receive bunkers at anchorage in Algoa Bay on Wednesday and 12 more vessels are scheduled to arrive this week, according to Rennies Ships Agency.

Bunkering is going ahead as normal in Mozambique’s Nacala and Maputo ports. A total of five vessels are scheduled to arrive to bunker across the two ports this week, down from six last week. Meanwhile, availability of VLSFO and LSMGO is said to be normal in both locations.

By Shilpa Sharma


Photo credit and source: ENGINE
Published: 12 January, 2023

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