ENGINE: Outlook for bunker fuel availability in Europe and Africa


northwestern europe

LSMGO supply is said to be normal in Rotterdam and the wider ARA hub, while securing VLSFO and HSFO deliveries on time may be difficult there, sources say. Lead times of around five days are recommended for VLSFO delivery in Rotterdam and around six days for HSFO.

ARA’s independently owned diesel stocks have risen to a year-high this month as importers in the region have pulled large cargo volumes from Russia ahead of the EU ban on imports of Russian refined products. Inventories have averaged 16% higher so far this month than in December, according to data from Insights Global.

Russia remains the main source of diesel imports in ARA with 31% of the total, according to cargo tracker Vortexa.

ARA’s independent fuel oil stocks have also averaged 7% higher so far this month than in December, but remained below its five-year average position for the year, Insights Global data shows.

Following the EU ban on imports of seaborne Russian crude oil from December 5, the EU will also ban imports of Russian refined petroleum products from February 5. Unlike the EU import ban on Russian crude, there will be no 45-day liquidation period for petroleum products.

Some traders and suppliers ENGINE has spoken to only expect LSMGO and VLSFO supply to tighten in ARA and the broader North West Europe region in the third quarter of this year.

This is partly because diesel and diesel inventories have been adding weight in the ARA, as the peak seasonal demand for diesel has not yet arrived. in full swing, diesel supplies will be under unrelenting pressure.

In addition, the ARA is a transshipment and storage center for oil destined for other European ports and further afield. If oil trade in and out of the center falls, it may mean less control over supply to meet sudden and unexpected changes in demand. It could also mean reduced resilience against supply shocks, such as multiple local refinery shutdowns at the same time.

In Hamburg, Germany, the supply of VLSFO and LSMGO is said to be normal, while HSFO delivery prospects remain under investigation, a source says.

Bunker fuel supplies remain normal to tight for specific dates off Skaw, requiring lead times of about seven days, a source says. The HSFO deliveries remain under investigation, the source adds.


LSMGO availability is said to be normal in Gibraltar. But securing large volumes of VLSFO and HSFO for specific dates can be a bit difficult there, the sources say.

Delivery times of 3-4 days are recommended for LSMGO delivery in Gibraltar and around five days for VLSFO. HSFO may require a longer period of around six days, a source says.

Bunkering was suspended in Algeciras on Wednesday and remained limited in Las Palmas due to adverse weather conditions, according to port agent MH Bland.
Tidal waves of up to 2 meters hit Algeciras on Wednesday, disrupting bunker deliveries there. Three vendors at the port experienced 2-8 hour delays, says MH Bland.

While fueling is suspended in Algeciras, congestion has built up in adjacent Gibraltar. Five ships were waiting to receive bunkers in Gibraltar on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the supply of fuel is progressing normally in other regional ports such as Ceuta, Tenerife and Malta.

Slight congestion has been reported in Ceuta this week. Six ships were due to arrive for bunkers in Ceuta on Wednesday, according to shipping agent Jose Salama & Co.

Bunker fuel supply is said to be normal in Las Palmas. The port has been facing bad weather conditions since last week, restricting some bunker operations in the outer anchorage of Las Palmas. Even though the outer anchorage is technically open for bunker operations, vendors do not deliver stalks there due to weather-related risks, according to MH Bland.

Bunker deliveries are available via ex-pipe at quayside or by barge at Las Palmas inland anchorage, says MH Bland. However, the inner anchorage has a limited bunker capacity of only one vessel at a time.

Bunker fuel availability is said to be normal in Malta, the sources say.

All bunkering areas off Malta were opened for supply on Tuesday, according to the Seatrans Shipping agency. Only one in six bunkering areas off Malta was open for bunkering during periods last week amid high winds.

No congestion has been reported in Malta this week, according to the Seatrans Shipping agency. An average of 12 ships have arrived at the bunker in Malta each day this week, up from 10 last week.

Fast supply of VLSFO and LSMGO is said to be normal in the Greek port of Piraeus, a source says.


Bunkering operations have been on hold in Algoa Bay since Tuesday due to bad weather conditions, according to Rennies Ships Agency. 12-foot storm surge hit the bay on Wednesday, disrupting bunker deliveries there.

Two ships were waiting to bunker at the anchorage on Wednesday, and 13 more are scheduled to arrive to bunker at Algoa Bay and Port Elizabeth this week, Rennies says. Bad weather conditions are forecast to prevail this week, which could cause further delays and disruptions.

Bunker fuel availability is said to be normal at Algoa Bay, but deliveries remain subject to weather conditions this week, a source says. Supply of VLSFO and LSMGO is also normal in Durban, with recommended lead times of around seven days.

Fuel supply continues as normal in the ports of Nacala and Maputo in Mozambique. A total of seven vessels are scheduled to arrive for refueling at the two ports this week, up from five last week. The availability of VLSFO and LSMGO is said to be normal in both locations.
Source: ENGINE, by Shilpa Sharma, https://engine.online/


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