DRIVER: Prospects for bunker fuel availability in Europe and Africa
North West Europe
Suppliers can offer fast deliveries from LSMGO to Rotterdam and other ports in the ARA hub, sources say. VLSFO supply would be normal in the region, while HSFO is tight for fast dates.
The recommended time frame for VLSFO in the ARA is 3-4 days, while HSFO requires up to seven days, according to one source.
Fuel oil inventories held by independents in the ARA fell to their lowest level since mid-May, according to Global Insights. Inventories fell by 320,000 barrels to 6.59 million barrels in the week to Sept. 29, the data showed.
Signs of rising exports and declining Russian inflows may have contributed to the most recent inventory decline.
Cargo tracker Vortexa has not registered any imports of Russian fuel oil to the ARA since July, but instead picked up fuel oil shipments from the UK, Germany, France, Greece, Saudi Arabia and other sources for most of this month.
The region’s diesel stocks rose by 940,000 barrels to 13.61 million barrels last week.
VLSFO and LSMGO supply is normal off Skaw, while HSFO is slightly constrained for fast delivery, a source said. The recommended lead times for VLSFO and LSMGO deliveries are around seven days, while HSFO requires a longer lead time.
The supply of VLSFO and LSMGO is good at ports in the Strait of Gibraltar, but ensuring rapid delivery of HSFO can be difficult, sources say. Recommended delivery times for VLSFO and LSMGO in the region are around three days, while HSFO requires a longer period of up to seven days, according to a source.
A rapid supply of VLSFO and LSMGO would be normal in Gibraltar, Algeciras, Ceuta and Las Palmas, sources say.
HSFO is particularly tight in the Canary Islands and has raised its benchmark to big premiums on regional ports. A supplier is out of product and expects a replenishment shipment to boost its supplies after arriving on October 13. Another supplier is supplying mainly on a forward contract basis, sources said.
Refueling resumed on Tuesday at the outer anchorage in Las Palmas. Strong winds and swells had suspended bunkering at this more weather-exposed anchorage since Thursday last week. The swell is down to a moderate level of 1.1 meters now, from around 2 meters last week, according to port agent MH Bland. Some suppliers experienced several hours of delays this week.
Light congestion was reported at the inland anchorage in Algeciras, while no backlogs were reported in Malta or Ceuta this week. Nine ships were due to arrive for bunkers in Ceuta on Wednesday, up from three on Tuesday, shipping agent Jose Salama & Cia said.
The supply of bunkers of all grades is normal in Malta, with some suppliers offering fast deliveries, according to a source.
In the Greek port of Piraeus, suppliers can offer limited quantities of VLSFO, LSMGO and HSFO on specific dates.
The bunker was put on hold amid heavy swells in Algoa Bay, according to Rennies Ships Agency. Conditions are expected to remain difficult through Monday next week. 13 ships are due to arrive for bunkers in Algoa Bay and Port Elizabeth until then.
Algoa Bay suppliers would have normal availability of fuel volumes to supply once weather conditions improve. VLSFO’s price continues to be significantly lower than neighboring Durban.
LSMGO availability is normal in Durban, but VLSFO is limited for fast delivery, sources say. The recommended time for delivery from VLSFO to Durban is around 10 days. Some suppliers expect restocking to arrive around October 12, sources say.
Source: ENGINE (By Shilpa Sharma, https://engine.online/)