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Bunker demand in African ports surge as vessels avoid Red Sea

In recent weeks, there has been a substantial increase in bunker-only calls in African ports, multiple sources told ENGINE.

A bunker trader operating in the port of Luanda in Angola in West Africa said that there has been a notable rise in bunker-only calls in Luanda anchorage, which has led to tighter barge availability.

VLSFO availability is normal in Luanda, but pressure on delivery barge schedules has tightened prompt availability, the bunker trader added. Lead times of 7-10 days are recommended for the grade. Moreover, enquiries for VLSFO have been significantly higher, which has added to supply pressure for prompt deliveries.

PHOTO: The port of Luanda in Angola. Getty Images

At least five barges have supplied VLSFO and LSMGO stems in the port of Luanda in the past month, according to ENGINE data.

Luanda’s VLSFO is priced about $75/mt lower than Durban’s. Its VLSFO price has typically been at a discount to Las Palmas, and sometimes at parity levels since 20 December.

Ports of Nacala and Maputo in Mozambique have also seen a spike in bunker-only calls from the rerouted vessels. Prompt VLSFO and LSMGO stems can be difficult to secure in Maputo because of tight barge availability, a supplier told ENGINE.

At Nacala, availability is good for HSFO and LSMGO, but VLSFO is tight.

Other South African ports, such as Durban and Richards Bay have seen an uptake in bunker demand. LSMGO availability remains very tight in the ports of Durban and Richards Bay. Lead times of over 10 days are recommended for the grade at these ports. VLSFO is relatively better there, with shorter lead times of 5-7 days.

Demand has been also good in Port Louis in Mauritius.
Source: ENGINE, https://engine.online/news/availability/bunker-demand-in-african-ports-surge-as-vessels-avoid-red-sea-5607

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