• Follow Us On Our Preferred Social Media Platform:

ENGINE: Europe & Africa Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

23 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:

22 February 2023

  • ARA gasoil stocks rise on Middle East and Asian inflows
  • Bunkering resumes in Gibraltar Strait ports
  • Prompt VLSFO tight amid strong demand in Nacala


Northwest Europe

LSMGO availability has improved since last week in the ARA bunkering hub. Some suppliers are now offering deliveries for prompt dates, sources say.

Meanwhile, prompt availability of VLSFO and HSFO is still tight in the region, they say. Lead times of 4-5 days are advised for VLSFO delivery in Rotterdam, while HSFO requires around 5-6 days. HSFO delivery prospects in the region are subject to enquiries, a source says.

The ARA’s independently held gasoil stocks – which include diesel and heating oil – have averaged 15% higher so far this month than in January as importers have pulled large volumes from the Middle East and Asian countries to substitute banned Russian products.

The region’s gasoil inventories have risen to their highest level in the past year and are above their five-year average position for this time of year, according to Insights Global data.

The EU’s ban on imports of refined Russian oil products kicked in from 5 February, and Vortexa has not picked up any Russian gasoil cargo inflows into the ARA so far this month.

Saudi Arabia has been the top source for ARA’s gasoil and diesel imports since last month, Vortexa data shows. Gasoil and diesel imports from Saudi Arabia have accounted for nearly a quarter of the ARA’s total between January and this month, up from a 4% share in December.

India has replaced Russia to emerge as the ARA’s second biggest source of gasoil imports with 17% of the total this month, followed by China (16%), South Korea (9%) and Singapore (7%).

The ARA’s independent fuel oil stocks have averaged 3% lower so far this month than in January and have remained below their five-year average position for the year. No Russian fuel oil cargo imports to the ARA have been picked up by Vortexa since January. This suggests that Russian fuel oil imports were phased out in January, after making up 10% of the ARA’s total in December.

In Germany’s Hamburg, prompt supply of VLSFO and LSMGO is normal, while HSFO delivery prospects remain subject to enquiry, 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. Securing prompt delivery of HSFO can be difficult there, the source adds.



Prompt supply is tight in Gibraltar Strait ports this week as most suppliers are busy clearing backlogs after weather disruptions last week, sources say. Bunkering resumed with better weather this week.

In Gibraltar, the backlog of vessels waiting to bunker had come down to eight on Wednesday morning, from 20 on Monday, according to port agent MH Bland. Congestion was reported in Algeciras as well, where eight vessels were waiting to bunker, MH Bland says. All three suppliers in Algeciras were running behind schedule on Wednesday, it said.

Bunkering at anchorage in Ceuta resumed on Monday after being suspended last week due to rough weather. One bunker supplier has a busy delivery barge schedule this week, a source says.

Bunker fuels availability is said to be tight Ceuta and Malta. Most suppliers in these locations are not fixing new stems until the end of this week, a source says.

Securing prompt deliveries will also be difficult in the Greek port of Piraeus this week. This could be because strong congestion in key Gibraltar Strait ports has diverted bunker calls to Piraeus, a source says.

Bunkering has been in progress in Las Palmas this week amid conducive weather. VLSFO supply is said to be normal there, a source says.

Bunker operations have been suspended in Turkey’s Port of Iskenderun since 6 February after a deadly earthquake hit Turkey and Syria, according to sources. Iskenderun’s port infrastructure suffered a severe damage from the earthquake, which was followed by a major fire incident.

Iskenderun has since been used to receive shipments of food, medical supplies, vehicles and construction machines to carry out rehabilitation work in nearby cities.

It might take weeks or months for Iskenderun to resume bunkering and other port operations, a source says. Meanwhile, bunkering is progressing as normal in Istanbul, a source says.



Bunkering resumed in Algoa Bay on Wednesday morning after being suspended by rough weather on Tuesday, according to Rennies Ships Agency. Swells came down to around 3 metres in Algoa Bay on Wednesday, from 5 metres on Tuesday, which allowed suppliers to resume bunker deliveries there.

17 vessels are scheduled to arrive for bunkers in Port Elizabeth and Algoa Bay this week, Rennies says. Conducive weather conditions are forecast to prevail through this week.

Bunker fuel availability 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 products is said to be currently tight in Cape Town. Recommended lead times for VLSFO and LSMGO deliveries in Cape Town are around 10 days, a source says.

Prompt supply of VLSFO is tight in in Mozambique’s Nacala port amid strong demand, while LSMGO availability is normal there, a source says.

Supply of the two grades is said to be normal in Mozambique’s capital port city of Maputo.

Bunker deliveries are going ahead as normal across the two ports in Mozambique, where a total of six vessels are due to arrive for bunkers this week, down from 10 last week.

By Shilpa Sharma


Photo credit and source: ENGINE
Published: 23 February, 2023

Related News

Featured News

Our Industry Partners

PR Newswire