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ENGINE: Americas Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

Fuel oil is generally tight across major North American and Latin American ports. But supply out of US residual fuel oil inventories to bulk terminals, blenders and further refining increased to a four-week high last week and could alleviate some of the tightness seen in various regional bunker ports.

So could the gradual comeback for Ecuadorian fuel oil after oil pipeline disruptions in the country, where local refineries normally have a high residual fuel oil yield and export HSFO380 cargoes to ports in the Americas and other bunker markets.

Maintenance work on a critical oil pipeline in Ecuador was completed earlier this month. The pipeline was forced shut amid erosion in the country’s Amazon region at the end of last year and crippled crude flows to refineries in port areas, including Esmeraldas and La Libertad, Reuters reported at the time. The refineries have gradually ramped up runs, but the recent production shortfall has drawn inventories and contributed to curb bunker supply.

HSFO380 cargo exports from Ecuador’s Esmeraldas, La Libertad and Guayaquil slowed in December, and had been more or less absent for month, until a fuel oil cargo was scheduled to be shipped out of Esmeraldas this week, cargo tracking shows.

HSFO380 is coming back in supply in New York after having run increasingly dry in recent weeks. End-of-year destocking and volumes termed up in contracts limited supply for the spot bunker market. No earliest estimated delivery date has been given, but HSFO380 should be available from early February, sources say.

HSFO380 is available for delivery in Panama in the first week of February, but the grade remains in tight in several regional locations, including Jamaica’s Kingston, offshore and along the US Gulf Coast and the west coasts of the US and Canada.

VLSFO and LSMGO grades are also tight for prompt dates in the Houston area and along the US Gulf Coast, including Corpus Christi and Port Arthur, in Panama and Caribbean ports like St. Eustatius.

Prompt VLSFO and LSMGO deliveries are possible from several suppliers at Argentina’s Zona Comun anchorage, with their earliest delivery dates ranging between 3-6 days out.
Source: ENGINE (https://engine.online/)

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