Collector time | ENGINE: Prospects for bunker fuel availability east of Suez

The following article regarding the outlook for bunker fuel availability east of Suez was provided by the online marine fuel supply platform ENGINE for publication on the Singapore bunkering publication Manifold Times:

November 17, 2021

VLSFO delivery times have decreased in Singapore, while the score remains tight in Zhoushan, Japan and South Korea.

VLSFO supplies in Singapore remain limited due to renewed demand for bunkers and persistent loading delays at the Universal Terminal on Jurong Island. A Covid-19 outbreak limited staffing at the terminal last month. The queue of bunker barges lined up to load product has grown longer and barges have been delayed to load product ever since.

Singapore’s recommended turnaround time for VLSFO peaked at 13-14 days earlier this month, but has now dropped to around 10 days, a sign of improved uptime. However, 10 days remain the longest among the major bunkering ports east of Suez.

LSMGO is slightly more readily available in Singapore with recommended delivery times of up to seven days. HSFO380 continues to be difficult to obtain in the short term, with 10 to 12 days in advance being generally required.

Singapore’s residual fuel stocks fell 3% last week amid falling net imports, data from Enterprise Singapore showed. The port’s fuel oil exports increased, while imports saw a smaller weekly percentage increase.

Fujairah also faces limited availability, but with shorter delivery times compared to Singapore. Low sulfur fuel grades require up to eight days of port supply lead time, while the earliest supply date for HSFO380 is approximately nine days.

The UAE port faces a shortage of inbound cargo volumes, with faster rods resulting in higher premiums.

In Zhoushan, a supplier is expected to receive more VLSFO by November 18 to replenish stocks, while LSMGO is also tight in the Chinese port, with the first supply dates extending through December. It is also difficult to source HSFO380 for quick dates in Zhoushan as only two suppliers have high sulfur content volumes to supply.

South Korean suppliers are working to overcome delays after bunkering resumes on November 12. A period of bad weather interrupted deliveries to South Korean ports for several days last week.

VLSFO remains tight in South Korean ports, where a single refiner is producing significant volumes at the moment. Other suppliers depend heavily on VLSFO imports to replenish their stocks.

Bunker fuels of all grades are in limited availability for specific dates in Japan. The first delivery dates extend until November 26 in Tokyo Bay. Some suppliers are running out of products due to competition from power plants for fuel oil.

Photo credit: MOTOR
Posted: November 17, 2021

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