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ENGINE: Americas Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

Suppliers in Houston generally have stems of all grades available on short notice. Certain suppliers have tight schedules for dates at the start of the new month.

Sea fog and poor visibility shut the Houston Ship Channel temporarily this week, delaying some vessels from entering bunker ports in the area, including Houston, Texas City, Baytown and Galveston. When traffic through the channel resumed on Tuesday afternoon there were 26 vessels queued up inbound and four outbound.

Prompt supply of VLSFO and LSMGO is tight in Corpus Christi. HSFO380 is particularly tight and subject to enquiry, with deliveries only possible ex-pipe from the Moda terminal.

A bunker barge that usually delivers around the Galveston, Sabine and Freeport Fairways has been drydocked for most of March. Supply has been severely limited in all three locations, but products are expected to be back on offer shortly after the barge returns to operation within the next two weeks.

US Gulf Coast fuel oil inventories added 4% last week, bringing them to five-week highs of 17.95 million bbls, the latest EIA data showed this week.

While refineries in the region produced less fuel oil last week than a week earlier, production remained well above the weekly averages in previous months. The refineries produce more than twice as much fuel oil now as they did in early March. Production had then slowed after several refineries were knocked offline by the winter storm and power outages in February.

Further south, supply has tightened in Ecuador’s Guayaquil, with at least one supplier out of product.

Availability for prompt delivery dates has improved in Argentina’s Zona Comun, and its VLSFO price has fallen against Brazilian ports up the coast. Zona Comun’s premium for the grade is now around $20/mt, narrowing from highs of more than $40/mt earlier this month.
Source: ENGINE (https://engine.online/)

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