ENGINE: East of Suez Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook
· VLSFO and HSFO supply improves in Singapore
· Several East Asian ports brace for typhoon-induced disruptions
· Prompt availability tight in Fujairah
A source says availability has improved in Singapore amid “quiet demand.” Several suppliers, that were offering VLSFO and HSFO at lead times of almost two weeks last week, are now offering both grades at shorter lead times of 8-9 days.
Lead times of LSMGO have nearly halved from 4-7 days last week to just 2-4 days now.
Singapore’s middle distillate stocks averaged 7% lower in July than across June, and were at their lowest monthly level since December, according to Enterprise Singapore.
Meanwhile, the port’s fuel oil stocks grew slightly in July and remained above 20 million bbls for the second consecutive month. Fuel oil imports increased by 10% in July and were at their highest level since last September. The port’s fuel oil exports, on the other hand, grew only 3% in July. East Asia and Oceania
Weather-related disruptions and weak demand have kept availability in check in Zhoushan, and most suppliers are able to supply all grades for prompt delivery dates – virtually unchanged from last week.
Bunker deliveries resumed at Zhoushan’s Tiaozhoumen and Xiazhimen outer anchorages on Tuesday after being suspended by bad weather for almost two weeks, a source says. All four anchorages in the Chinese bunkering hub are operational now.
All bunker fuel grades remain in ample supply in Hong Kong, with several suppliers recommending unchanged lead times of around seven days.
Potential weather-induced disruptions have put availability under pressure across all grades in South Korean ports, with lead times varying widely between 6-17 days for VLSFO and LSMGO – nearly thrice from around six days last week. Shorter lead times of around eight days are advised for HSFO.
Meanwhile, high bunker prices have dented bunker demand in South Korean ports. A spike in bunker prices has driven many bunker buyers to lift bunker at other cheaper alternative bunker locations in East Asia, a source says.
Typhoon Khanun, which hit the Japanese islands of Okinawa last week, has wandered back unusually towards Japan again. It is currently hovering over the islands of Kikai, Amami and Yakushima, according to Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA). The typhoon is forecast to graze past Japan’s Kyushu before lashing South Korea’s southern coast on Thursday, South Korean meteorological agency Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) says.
Meanwhile, Taiwan’s wire service Central News Agency has warned that conditions are ripe for tropical storm Lan to intensify into a typhoon by Thursday. It could hit the Japanese island of Honshu next week, JMA says.
Typhoon-induced bad weather conditions are forecast in the South Korean ports of Ulsan and Onsan between 8-15 August, in Busan and Onsan between 8-13 August, and in Daesan and Taean between 9-12 days, which might impact bunker deliveries.
Adverse weather conditions are also predicted in the Thai ports of Koh Sichang and Leam Chabang on 12 August, and in the Vietnamese port of Ho Chi Minh between 8-15 August, all of which could disrupt bunker operations.
VLSFO and LSMGO can be delivered with around 2-3 days of lead time across several Indian ports, including Kandla on the northwest coast, and Cochin and Chennai on the southern coast.
Meanwhile, both grades remain subject to availability in Mumbai and Visakhapatnam as it has been in recent weeks. On the other hand, supply in Tuticorin port on the southeast coast and Haldia on the east coast remains subject to enquiry. A supplier in Paradip on the eastern coast of India is almost out of stock for both grades, a source says.
Bangladeshi meteorological agency Bangladesh Meteorological Department has cautioned the maritime ports of Chattogram, Cox’s Bazar, Mongla and Payra for possible disruptions due to strong monsoon.
Decent bunker demand has kept prompt availability of all grades “super tight” in Fujairah, with most suppliers recommending lead times of 5-7 days – almost unchanged from last week. But some can still supply prompt dates, but these deliveries depend on stem sizes, a source says.
Availability remains normal in the other UAE port of Khor Fakkan, with lead times of 5-7 days advised.
Source: Engine, By Tuhin Roy