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ENGINE: Europe & Africa Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

04 May 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:

3 May, 2023

  • VLSFO and HSFO supply still tight in the ARA
  • Prompt HSFO stems scarce in Gibraltar
  • Availability normal across South African ports


Northwest Europe

Prompt supply of VLSFO and HSFO is still tight in Rotterdam and in the wider ARA hub. This could partly be because of product shortages at refineries, a source says. Shell’s Pernis refinery near Rotterdam is undergoing a scheduled three-month maintenance, which is set to be completed by the end of this month.

Meanwhile, availability of LSMGO is said to be normal for prompt dates in the ARA, requiring lead times of around three days.

Independently held fuel oil stocks in the ARA averaged 1% higher in the first three weeks of April than across March.

According to cargo tracker Vortexa, the region’s fuel oil imports have primarily arrived from Poland (13%), Lithuania (11%), the UK and UAE (10%), and Denmark (8%).

Availability of VLSFO and LSMGO is said to be normal for prompt delivery off Skaw, a source says. Delivery prospects for HSFO are still subject to enquiries, the source adds.

In Germany’s Hamburg, prompt supply of VLSFO, HSFO and LSMGO is said to be normal. Lead times of around 5-6 days are recommended for deliveries of all fuel grades, a source says.

VLSFO and HSFO deliveries are subject to enquiries in Bremerhaven.



Availability is said to be normal for most bunker fuel grades in Gibraltar, but fixing prompt stems of HSFO can be slightly difficult there, sources say. One supplier in Gibraltar is running low on HSFO stocks, a source says.

Lead times of 3-5 days are advised for VLSFO and LSMGO deliveries in Gibraltar, while HSFO can require a longer period of up to seven days.

Bunker supply is normal in Algeciras, while VLSFO is tight in Las Palmas, a source says.

Weather conditions are forecast to remain conducive in Gibraltar Strait ports this week. This would allow suppliers to deliver stems smoothly. 

Minimal congestion was reported in Gibraltar and Algeciras on Wednesday, according to port agent MH Bland. One supplier in Gibraltar and three in Algeciras were behind schedule on Wednesday morning.

However, Las Palmas is forecast to experience rough weather conditions in periods between 7-12 May, which could complicate deliveries at the port’s outer anchorage, MH Bland says.

Supply of VLSFO and LSMGO is normal in Barcelona, a source says.

Bunker fuel supply across all grades is said to be normal in Malta. Some suppliers can offer deliveries for prompt dates off Malta, a source says.

In Greece’s Piraeus port, supply of HSFO and LSMGO is normal, but VLSFO is tight for prompt dates.



Bunker fuels supply is said to be normal in Durban, Algoa Bay and other South African ports, sources say.

However, securing prompt deliveries of VLSFO and LSMGO can be slightly difficult in Durban and Algoa Bay, where stems may require lead times of up to seven days, a source says.

Bunkering is progressing normally in Algoa Bay, according to Rennies Ships Agency. High swells of more than 3 metres are forecast to hit the bay on Friday, which could complicate deliveries. 13 vessels are due to arrive for bunkers in Port Elizabeth and Algoa Bay over the course of the rest of the week, Rennies says.

Bunkering is going ahead as usual in Mozambique’s ports of Nacala and Maputo. Prompt supply of VLSFO and LSMGO is normal in both locations, a source says.

By Shilpa Sharma


Photo credit and source: ENGINE
Published: 4 May, 2023

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