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ENGINE: Europe & Africa Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

09 Feb 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:

8 February 2023 

  • ARA gasoil stocks at one-year highs, Russian imports banned
  • Bunkering partly halted in Algeciras, Ceuta and Malta
  • Tighter availability amid strong demand in Nacala


Northwest Europe

Prompt availability of LSMGO is normal in Rotterdam and in the wider ARA bunkering hub. Recommended lead times for VLSFO delivery in Rotterdam are about 4-5 days, and HSFO requires 5-6 days, a source says.

The ARA’s independently held gasoil stocks have risen to one-year highs this month as importers pulled large volumes from Russia just before the EU’s ban on imports of refined Russian oil products kicked in from 5 February.

The region’s gasoil stocks – which include diesel and heating oil – have averaged 9% higher at the beginning of February than in January. And they have swelled by 56% from a low in June, when EU member states agreed to ban refined Russian oil imports.

Saudi Arabia and Russia were the ARA’s two top sources of diesel and gasoil imports in January, accounting for 22% of the ARA’s total imports each, according to cargo tracker Vortexa. That was down from 31% from Russia in December, while sharply up from 4% from Saudi Arabia.

The ARA’s independent fuel oil stocks have averaged 3% lower at the start of February than in January and have remained below their five-year average position for the year.

Around 10% of the ARA’s fuel oil imports came from Russia in December, with larger volumes from the UK (15%) and Denmark (14%). The UK was overwhelmingly the ARA’s biggest source in January, with 24% its total, while it did not import any fuel oil cargoes from Russia, according to Vortexa.

In Germany’s Hamburg, prompt supply of VLSFO and LSMGO is said to be normal. HSFO delivery prospects remain subject to enquiry there, a source says.

Bunker fuel supply is normal-to-tight for prompt dates off Skaw, requiring lead times of up to seven days, a source says. Availability of HSFO for prompt dates is tight, the source adds.

All operations at in the Turkish Port of Iskenderun have been halted after a deadly earthquake hit Turkey and Syria on Monday morning. LSMGO is typically supplied by three suppliers in the port, and VLSFO by one.

Meanwhile, bunkering is progressing as normal in Istanbul, a source says.



Supply of LSMGO is said to be normal for prompt dates in Gibraltar, while VLSFO and HSFO deliveries are subject to enquiries.

Lead times of 3-4 days are advised for LSMGO delivery in Gibraltar, and around five days for VLSFO. HSFO may require a longer period of around 5-6 days, a source says.

Meanwhile, delivery of stems in Gibraltar Strait ports will be subject to weather conditions in the coming days, a source say.

Bunker operations were suspended at the outer anchorage in Algeciras on Wednesday due to rough weather, according to port agent MH Bland. Bunkering was going ahead at Algeciras’ inner anchorage, while three suppliers were running 4-18 hours behind schedule in the port, MH Bland says.

Suppliers in Ceuta have also been struggling to deliver stems at anchorage. One bunker barge was suspended operations on Wednesday due to bad weather, according to shipping agent Jose Salama & Co. Two vessels were waiting to receive bunkers at anchorage in Ceuta on Wednesday, and four more vessels were due to arrive.

Bunker fuels availability is said to be normal in Ceuta and Algeciras, and some suppliers can offer prompt deliveries. But forecast of bad weather between Thursday and Saturday could complicate deliveries there, sources say.

Bunkering has been limited in Malta this week, according to Seatrans Shipping agency. Only one in six bunkering areas off Malta are open for supply due to rough weather conditions. Some bunker backlogs have been reported this week, Seatrans says.

Supply of VLSFO and LSMGO is said to be normal in and off Malta, but deliveries are subject to weather conditions, a source says.

Availability across all grades is normal in the Greek port of Piraeus, a source says.

Prompt supply of VLSFO is normal in the Portuguese port of Sines.



Bunkering resumed in Algoa Bay on Wednesday, after being suspended on Tuesday due to rough weather, according to Rennies Ships Agency. Bad weather is forecast over the weekend, which could disrupt bunker operations in the bay again. 18 vessels are scheduled to arrive for bunkers in Port Elizabeth and Algoa Bay for the rest of the week, Rennies says.

Bunker fuel supply is said to be normal in Algoa Bay and normal-to-tight in Durban. Recommended lead times for VLSFO and LSMGO deliveries in Durban are around seven days, a source says.

Meanwhile, supply of the two grades is currently tight in Mozambique’s Nacala port amid good demand, a source says. Bunker calls in Nacala have gradually increased from three vessels in each of the first two weeks of January, to 5-6 vessels in each of the last two weeks. Five vessels are expected to arrive for bunkers in Nacala this week.

Supply of VLSFO and LSMGO is said to be normal in Mozambique’s capital port city of Maputo. Four vessels are due to arrive for bunkers there this week.

Bunkering deliveries are going ahead as normal across the two ports in Mozambique.

By Shilpa Sharma


Photo credit and source: ENGINE
Published: 9 February, 2023

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