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ENGINE: Global Fuel Availability Outlook

20 Aug 2021

The following article regarding global bunker fuel availability outlook has been provided by online marine fuels procurement platform ENGINE for publication on Singapore bunkering publication Manifold Times:

19 August, 2021

ENGINE: Global Fuel Availability Outlook

  • Longer lead times for VLSFO & LSMGO in Fujairah
  • Lead times shorten in Tokyo for all three fuel grades
  • Zhoushan left without HSFO & VLSFO

Lead times for low sulphur fuels have gone up in Fujairah on the week, with most suppliers being able to offer for the grade from 26 August onwards.

HSFO380 is still tight in Fujairah as well, with lead times stretching to 8 days after a supplier exited the market last month, leaving only three other suppliers still carrying the grade.

However, Montfort has announced they will start bunker supply operations in Fujairah and Khor Fakkan starting from September. The company will be offering HSFO and LSMGO by barge, rising the number of HSFO suppliers in Fujairah to four.

In Singapore, both HSFO380 and VLSFO remain tight for prompt dates in the bunkering hub for another week, while LSMGO continues to be more readily available. Around 7-9 days of lead time are recommended for VLSFO and HSFO380, compared to a shorter 4-5 days for LSMGO.

Global bunker prices plunged to monthly lows this week, following a sharp drop in Brent crude values during Thursday’s session. Fujairah and Singapore saw their VLSFO dropping below $500/mt today as both ports recorded steep losses on the day.

The Chinese port of Zhoushan is facing a supply shortage of both HSFO and VLSFO this week, with the low sulphur fuel grade being tight with most suppliers.

Replenishment of VLSFO is expected from next week, while HSFO will be available again towards the end of the month. LSMGO is the only fuel grade currently being offered in the port and in good availability.

The nearby port of Shanghai is however well-supplied with all three grades, which could provide an alternative bunkering option.

Ningbo-Zhoushan’s Meidong Container Terminal remains closed since last Thursday, and all inbound and outbound traffic suspended after a port worker tested positive for Covid-19 in the port.

As a result, bunker operations have been suspended in the terminal for the time being. The terminal is rumored to partially reopen next Tuesday 24 August, although it has not been confirmed yet.

Bunker fuel availability has recently improved Tokyo Bay as local ports are now well-supplied with all three grades. Lead times have therefore dropped to 4-5 days for HSFO380, VLSFO and LSMGO, compared with 7-8 days recommended last month.

Japan’s total fuel oil stocks have added 4% on the week to their highest levels in eight weeks, data from the Petroleum Association of Japan showed this week. The country’s fuel oil exports dropped to their lowest levels since early January of this year, while LSFO imports remained low. Japan did not import any HSFO during the past week.

Supply of all three fuel grades remain steady in Houston, but low sulphur fuel availability has tightened in Corpus Christi for prompt deliveries.

VLSFO is also currently tight in New York, unlike HSFO380 and LSMGO which are in good supply in the US port.


Photo credit: ENGINE
Published: 20 August, 2021

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