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ENGINE: East of Suez Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

Singapore and Malaysia

Bunker demand in Singapore has increased since the beginning of the week. VLSFO availability has improved, with most suppliers suggesting lead times of 4-7 days, much shorter than the previous week’s 6-12 days.

HSFO supply remains constrained in the port, with recommended lead times of 7-11 days, almost unchanged from last week. LSMGO remains more readily available, with lead times of 2-4 days.

Singapore’s residual fuel oil stocks in the first week of May averaged 4% higher compared to April, according to Enterprise Singapore. Net fuel oil imports in Singapore have surged by a significant 62% so far in May, with imports rising to a record 3.02 million bbls. This increase surpasses the rise of 799,000 bbls in fuel exports, contributing to the stock build. Conversely, middle distillate stocks in Singapore have remained relatively stable compared to April levels.

In Malaysia’s Port Klang, VLSFO and LSMGO grades are readily available, with some suppliers offering prompt deliveries for smaller parcel sizes. HSFO remains scarce in the port due to limited supply.

China, East Asia, and Oceania

Bunker fuel availability in Zhoushan remains constrained due to limited barge availability, with most suppliers indicating unchanged lead times of 5-7 days.

In Northern China, Dalian port boasts abundant availability of VLSFO and LSMGO. Similarly, both grades are readily accessible in Qingdao and Tianjin, although HSFO supply remains constrained in these ports. In Shanghai, the availability of VLSFO and LSMGO has seen some improvement, while HSFO remains in short supply. In Fuzhou and Yangpu, VLSFO and LSMGO are readily available. But in Guangzhou, prompt availability for low-sulphur fuel grades remains limited. Meanwhile, VLSFO availability has tightened in Xiamen, while LSMGO supply remains unaffected.

In the Taiwanese ports of Hualien, Kaohsiung, Taichung, and Keelung, the availability of VLSFO and LSMGO remains steady, with recommended lead times of 3-4 days, virtually unchanged from last week.

In Hong Kong, all fuel grades are readily available, with recommended lead times of about seven days, but some suppliers can offer early deliveries for smaller stems. Rough weather conditions are expected to affect bunker deliveries at the port on Thursday.

In South Korean ports, the availability of all grades remains ample despite sluggish bunker demand. Most suppliers are advising lead times of around three days for all grades, consistent with the previous week.

Strong winds and high waves are forecast intermittently throughout this week and could impact bunker operations at the South Korean ports of Ulsan, Onsan, Busan, Daesan, Taean and Yeosu.

In Japan, bunker demand remains slow due to high prices. Tokyo’s VLSFO was priced about $24/mt higher than Singapore’s VLSFO and $34/mt higher than Zhoushan’s VLSFO price on Tuesday. Lead times differ across major Japanese ports, ranging from around seven days in Tokyo, Chiba, Osaka, Kobe, Nagoya, and Yokkaichi, to longer periods of 11-15 days in Mizushima and Oita.

In Western Australia, both Kwinana and Fremantle ports can readily offer VLSFO and LSMGO, with recommended lead times of 7-8 days. In New South Wales, LSMGO is readily available in Sydney, while HSFO availability is subject to enquiry. In Victoria, VLSFO and LSMGO are easily available in Melbourne, while ample VLSFO supply is available in Geelong. Prompt HSFO supply can be tight in both ports.

In Queensland, both Brisbane and Gladstone ports have sufficient VLSFO and LSMGO stocks, with suggested lead times of 7-8 days. HSFO availability remains limited in Brisbane.
In the ports of Tauranga and Auckland in New Zealand, LSMGO availability is good, and VLSFO supply is also ample in Auckland.

Adverse weather conditions may impact bunkering operations in Hai Phong (Vietnam) on Thursday and in Tauranga (New Zealand) on Wednesday and Thursday.

South Asia

In several Indian ports, including Mumbai, Kandla, Tuticorin, Chennai, Cochin, Visakhapatnam, and Haldia, VLSFO and LSMGO availability has been tight due to supply shortages. One supplier in Paradip is almost running out of both grades.

Sikka and Kandla ports in India are forecast to experience adverse weather conditions over the weekend, which could disrupt bunkering.

Middle East

Bunker demand for all grades remains low in the UAE port of Fujairah. Despite low demand, availability for very prompt dates remains tight for all grades, with most suppliers projecting lead times ranging from 5-7 days.

In the UAE port of Khor Fakkan, most suppliers are recommending similar lead times of 5-7 days.

At Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah port, the supply of VLSFO and LSMGO remains sufficient. Meanwhile, in Djibouti, certain suppliers are experiencing VLSFO shortages, while LSMGO supply remains normal.

LSMGO is readily available in Omani ports, including Sohar, Salalah, Muscat, and Duqm.
Source: ENGINE, By Tuhin Roy, https://engine.online/news

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