ENGINE: Americas Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook
Gulf Coast refineries continue on their way to fully recover from production stoppages and reductions caused by Hurricane Ida six weeks ago, according to the latest figures from the Energy Information Administration (EIA). The refineries operated at 89% of capacity last week, a gradual improvement from a low of 73% in mid-September – two weeks after Ida hit – but still some way off pre-Ida highs of 93%.
The Gulf Coast region’s fuel oil production averaged around 30,000 b/d in the second half of September, recovering after fuel oil output dropped to zero in mid-September. The region’s fuel oil production averaged around 50,000 b/d in the first eight months of the year, before the hurricane stoppages.
East Coast production and inventories have been broadly steady in recent weeks.
West Coast production has dipped since mid-September and contributed to draw down the region’s stocks.
Total US residual fuel oil inventories fell last week amid lower refinery production and import volumes.
Less fuel oil was supplied by US refineries, blenders and bulk terminals, but drops in production and imports outweighed the decline in supply.
The US West Coast ports remains massively congested. Over 60 container ships are waiting to enter the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. An unprecedented influx of container imports has swamped the ports way beyond their handling capacity. But bunker barge loadings and deliveries have largely been unaffected, and fuel availability is fine.
Bunker fuels continue to be in good availability across most major bunker locations in the Americas, but availability can be tight with certain suppliers in Panama. A supplier’s earliest delivery date for VLSFO and LSMGO is seven days out, another continues to be out of VLSFO.
Crew changes will be allowed in Argentinian ports from 20 October after having been suspended since the start of the pandemic last year, Argentina’s government has informed shipping agent Antares. New requirements for ship crew are still being hammered out by government officials, with details expected to be announced shortly.
Separately, all Argentinian ports now have uniform Covid-19 restrictions, after Necochea lifted its 14-day quarantine requirement for ships arriving from foreign ports with effect from 1 October.
Source: ENGINE (https://engine.online/)