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ENGINE: Americas Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

A combination of waning demand and ample supplies has contributed to lower prices in New Orleans against Houston, and HSFO380 has tightened along the US West Coast this week.

Demand has taken a downturn in the majority of ports in the Americas in recent weeks, sources say, attributing it to a seasonal dip. Most suppliers have seen demand come off in May, in what has been called the slowest month of the year so far.

VLSFO and LSMGO price spreads between Houston and New Orleans have narrowed. Slower demand could have spurred suppliers to offer at lower levels in New Orleans. Price offers have been in a wide range recently as some suppliers have been competing for smaller margins to move product.

Houston and New Orleans are well supplied across fuel grades, with prompt product readily available.

Residual fuel oil inventories in the US Gulf Coast swelled amid higher regional refinery production and an uptick in imports in the most recent week, according to number from the Energy Information Administration (EIA). The stocks added 1.15 million bbls in the week to 21 May, when they measured 18.61 million bbls – a four-week high.

HSFO380 availability has tightened considerably along the US West Coast. One of San Francisco’s suppliers has run out of HSFO380 and has not set a date for resupply yet. Only two suppliers offer the grade in Long Beach, while Seattle only has one offering, resulting in tight availability in general. Suppliers in Los Angeles and Vancouver are also tight for prompt dates.

Ecuadorian ports have been running low on VLSFO volumes to offer for weeks, and it remains uncertain when stocks will be replenished.
Barranquilla in the Caribbean is one of the few ports that has had robust demand in the past month, sources say. The Columbian port’s availability has tightened for prompt dates, however. So has supply in nearby Cartagena, as Columbia’s anti-government rallies have restricted access for resupplies from refineries to the ports.

Prompt deliveries is generally available across fuel grades in several other Caribbean ports, including Bahamas’ Freeport, St. Eustatius, Curacao, Aruba, Kingston and Trinidad.

Port strikes in Argentinian ports have delayed vessels from completing cargo loading and unloading in Zona Comun. Delivery of some bunker stems have been pushed back. A two-day strike by port workers is scheduled to end at midnight on Thursday. Suppliers have product loaded on tankers and ready to supply when vessels have been cleared to sail from port.
Source: ENGINE (https://engine.online/)

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