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ENGINE: Americas Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

Snowstorms and power outages have disrupted barge loadings and pushed up prices for prompt bunker deliveries in Houston and other US Gulf Coast ports.

Blackouts in Houston and Galveston have disrupted bunkering in the area. Barges have been prevented from loading from docks in Galveston and Convent because of cold weather and the power outages.

The rough weather has also prevented pilots from reaching vessels, limited visibility, and led Houston Ship Channel to close intermittently since the weekend. Several vessels have been unable to sail through the channel in either direction as the storm has raged. But during the short periods the channel has reopened, vessels have been able to sail through and congestion has eased.

Los Angeles and Long Beach continue to struggle with massive container ship congestion. The twin ports are seeing record container import volumes, and with a large share of their workforce ill with Covid-19, over 30 ships are still waiting to berth.
US fuel oil stock levels were broadly unchanged in the week to 12 February, when they measured 32.76 million bbls, according to data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The US West Coast saw a 5% stockbuild to 5.47 million bbls of fuel oil, helped by higher refinery production levels in recent weeks.

Fuel oil inventories on the East Coast dropped by 9% to 7.67 million bbls – their lowest levels in a year. Average weekly production levels at East Coast refineries have slowed some in the first two weeks of February, compared to January.
Gulf Coast refineries produced more fuel oil in the week to 12 February than in any previous week since early September. The region’s production levels are likely to suffer in the coming weeks, however, as it will take time to ramp up production at the refineries shut by the winter storms in Texas and Louisiana.

VLSFO is tight for prompt bunker delivery dates in New Orleans Outer Anchorage, while other North American ports have good supply volumes of the fuel grade, as well as LSMGO.

Further south, VLSFO remains tight in Bahamas’ Freeport, Peru’s Callao and off Trinidad. Supply of the grade has also gotten tighter in Trinidad’s ports.
Source: ENGINE (https://engine.online/)

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