ENGINE: Americas Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook
VLSFO and LSMGO availability is normal for prompt dates in the Houston area and off the US Gulf Coast. But HSFO deliveries can be trickier to secure in Houston. The earliest delivery dates with two suppliers in Houston stretch out to the beginning of next month, sources say.
Some sources argue that VLSFO and LSMGO availability in Houston may also tighten over the coming days amid a spike in demand. Houston has been offering VLSFO and LSMGO at competitive levels to regional ports and some other global bunker hubs over the past weeks.
Lower bunker prices have somewhat contributed to the steady flow of bunker enquiries in Houston, a trader says.
Bunker operations in the Galveston Offshore Lightering Area (GOLA) have remained disrupted for periods since last week amid bad weather conditions. Some suppliers are trying to deliver stems as and when the weather allows, but deliveries usually get suspended when waves peak at more than five meters.
VLSFO and LSMGO availability is slightly tight for prompt dates in New York. One supplier can supply for both grades with five days of lead time, while another can deliver prompt, sources say.
Prompt VLSFO availability is tight in San Francisco. One supplier has pulled back offers for the grade amid maintenance work to its onshore fuel oil storage tanks, sources say. However, the supplier can supply LSMGO for prompt dates.
All grades remain tight for prompt dates in the twin ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles on the US West Coast. A longer lead time of at least 10-15 days is generally recommended to ensure full coverage from all suppliers. One supplier can offer its earliest delivery of VLSFO from 7 December onwards in Long Beach. Securing HSFO can be tricky for both prompt dates and dates further out as the grade is offered by fewer suppliers.
Bunker availability remains steady for all fuel grades in Mexico’s Manzanillo. Recommended lead times for HSFO, VLSFO and LSMGO are about five days out, while prompt stems can be accommodated.
Overall bunker demand in Manzanillo has increased slightly coming into this month, sources say.
Caribbean and Latin America
All grades are tight for prompt dates in Panama’s Balboa and Cristobal. Several suppliers in both ports are hesitant to confirm delivery dates for HSFO, VLSFO and LSMGO due to tight availability and busy schedules, which makes lead times more unpredictable.
HSFO deliveries can be even trickier to secure in Balboa and Cristobal. One supplier that was supplying the grade with a shorter lead time of five days last week, has now revised the delivery schedule from 15 December onwards. Another requires at least 10-12 days of lead time.
Bunker demand in the Colombian ports has been slightly slower this week than last week. Demand is likely to increase over the coming weeks in Colombia’s Cartagena and Santa Marta, a trader says. One supplier can supply VLSFO and LSMGO for prompt dates in both ports. Another requires at least three days of lead time.
Prompt LSMGO availability is tight in Peru’s Callao. One supplier is running low on LSMGO stock. VLSFO is more readily available for prompt dates in the port.
All grades are tight for prompt dates in Zona Comun anchorage in Argentina. One supplier is fully booked for the remaining days of the month and can supply VLSFO and LSMGO from 2 December onwards.
Source: ENGINE, By Nithin Chandran (https://engine.online/)