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ENGINE: Americas Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

• Prompt availability tight in several ports
• US fuel oil stocks regain more weight
• Rough weather could disrupt offshore USGC bunkering

Several bunkering ports in the US and beyond saw fuel availability tighten towards the end of December, partly as refiners and suppliers sought to draw down stocks for end-of-year tax purposes.

Availability of prompt product has been under pressure among bunker suppliers in major US bunker ports spanning the Houston area, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Destocking turned a corner in the last week of December and inventories have regained some weight across US East, West and Gulf Coasts.

Total US residual fuel oil inventories have risen for two straight weeks, according to the latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) figures. More fuel oil retained in storage as volumes supplied to domestic refiners, bulk terminals and blenders – a proxy for demand – has tailed off since a peak in late December.

Strong winds and rough seas suspended some deliveries offshore in the Gulf of Mexico earlier this week, but resumed on Tuesday. Conditions are forecast to keep calm until a new bout of adverse weather between Saturday and Sunday.

Tight availability in Panama keeps supporting VLSFO and HSFO380 prices in Balboa and Cristobal against Houston’s. Some suppliers can deliver VLSFO and LSMGO with 1-2 days of lead time in Balboa. Certain others’ earliest delivery date is a week out.

Similarly, suppliers’ earliest delivery dates in Zona Comun range between 1-6 days. Suppliers at the Argentinian anchorage location have experienced intermittent weather disruptions this week and are in for more bouts of unfavourable conditions for periods over the next week.

VLSFO remains tight for prompt dates in the Brazilian ports. Stems sizes in Rio Grande need to be given outright and quantity ranges will not be accepted.
Source: ENGINE (https://engine.online/)

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