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ENGINE: Europe & Africa Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

06 Jan 2022

The following article regarding Europe and Africa bunker fuel availability has been provided by online marine fuel procurement platform ENGINE for posting on Singapore bunkering publication Manifold Times:

5 January, 2022

  • Steady supply in ARA and Gibraltar Strait
  • Tight prompt availability in Malta and Istanbul
  • Canary Islands, Algoa Bay and Skaw face weather disruptions
  • Limited supply in Durban and Richards Bay until late Jan

Supply of all grades remains readily available with a range of suppliers in the ARA and Gibraltar Strait – Europe’s two main bunkering hubs.

ARA’s independent fuel oil stocks were bolstered by inflows from Russia and other countries last week and rose above their five-year average position.

LSMGO tightened for prompt delivery dates in the ARA in the second half of December amid below-average inventories. A mild winter is forecast for Europe in January, which could curb gasoil demand for heating and contribute to boost inventories again.

Prompt bunker availability is tight in Malta and Istanbul. Several suppliers have limited product to offer in Malta, partly as some volumes have been termed up in contracts, leaving less for the spot market. The earliest delivery date is around six days ahead for several suppliers.

Termed up volumes are expected to support Malta’s prices in the coming days. Its benchmark VLSFO price has gained against Gibraltar Strait ports and Las Palmas this week, but offer prices are in a wide range and prompt stems incur significant premiums.

Rough weather limited bunkering to one of Malta’s six offshore areas at the beginning of the week, but calmer weather conditions should open for bunkering across all six until conditions worsen again on Saturday. The recent weather limitations have not caused massive delays as demand has been relatively muted, sources say.

The earliest expected delivery date for VLSFO in Istanbul is around five days out for several suppliers.

Swells towards 2 metres in Las Palmas and Tenerife on Wednesday and are forecast peak at around 3 metres on Saturday. Bunkering at outer anchorages could get suspended and add pressure on supply capacity at inner anchorage and at berths.

Intermittent periods of strong winds and swells in Algoa Bay and off Skaw over the coming week could disrupt bunker operations and might lead to backlogs.

Bunker availability is limited for prompt delivery dates in South Africa’s Durban and Richards Bay. Most suppliers are unable to offer VLSFO and LSMGO for delivery in these ports for the next two weeks, sources say.


Photo credit: ENGINE
Published: 6 January, 2022

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