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ENGINE: Americas Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

· Good availability in Houston
· Low demand in New York
· Availability remains tight in Rio Grande

North America

Bunker demand has started to pick up again in Houston this week, after subdued demand noted in the previous week. Availability of all grades is normal, and most suppliers are able to timely deliver stems due to good weather conditions.

Currently, most suppliers are able to offer VLSFO and LSMGO stems with a lead time of 3-4 days, down from last week’s 5-6 days. HSFO can also be secured within five days of lead time, a source says.

Prompt supply of VLSFO and LSMGO is also available in Bolivar Roads and Beaumont. However, bunker deliveries are subject to weather conditions and the availability of anchorage space in both locations, a source says.

Strong wind gusts of up to 29 knots were reported in the Galveston Offshore Lightering Area (GOLA) on Thursday morning. Despite this, bunkering was mostly unaffected in GOLA.
Demand has been good in GOLA this week, and several suppliers are offering stems for prompt dates as well as for dates further out.

Demand has dropped in the West Coast ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. VLSFO and LSMGO availability have held better in both ports. One supplier can offer LSMGO stems with a lead time of 3-4 days. Lead times of 5-7 days are still recommended for the grade to ensure full coverage from suppliers and in order to avoid price premiums for faster deliveries, a trader said.

All grades remain in normal supply for prompt dates in the East Coast port of New York. Overall, bunker demand has slowed in New York this week. Port operations and bunkering activities have returned to normal in Baltimore after the cargo ship Dali was successfully removed on Monday. The port has not yet seen a significant increase in bunker demand, but traders anticipate more demand in June.

Caribbean and Latin America

Bunker fuel demand has dropped in Panama’s Balboa port this week compared to robust demand observed in the previous weeks. Product availability is good, with several suppliers able to supply all fuel grades with a lead time of 3-4 days.

Prompt availability of both VLSFO and LSMGO has been tight off Trinidad, and delivery prospects are mostly subject to enquiries, a source says. The earliest delivery dates with one supplier can stretch out to the first week of June.

VLSFO and LSMGO grades are available at Argentina’s Zona Comun anchorage, with recommended lead times of 6-7 days. Bunker demand has been good in the past week. While calmer weather conditions have enabled suppliers to deliver stems on time, adverse weather is predicted to hit the region on Thursday evening, potentially affecting bunker operations in Zona Comun.

Bunker fuel availability has been normal in the Brazilian ports of Santos, Salvador and Paranaguá.

Several suppliers are able to offer stems with a lead time of 5-6 days. In other Brazilian ports like Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande and Itaqui availability remains tight.

In Rio Grande, availability remains tight because of recent flooding in the area. Bunkering is available in the anchorage and berth areas, but these deliveries are subject to approval from the port authority, a source says.
Source: By Debarati Bhattacharjee, ENGINE

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