ENGINE: East of Suez Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook
Bunker operations have been suspended in Zhoushan and Shanghai since Sunday, as suppliers braced for strong winds and heavy rainfall brought by the incoming Typhoon Chanthu.
Port operations are expected to resume on Wednesday, but with a backlog of deliveries. One bunker supplier is tied up for the next few days, while other suppliers are not facing lengthy delays.
Fuel availability remains good in Zhoushan. Four of the five suppliers that stock HSFO380 in the Chinese port have volumes to supply. VLSFO and LSMGO are also in good supply in Zhoushan.
Singapore’s residual fuel oil stocks grew by 3.45 million bbls on the week to 8 September and rose above their five-year average, Enterprise Singapore data showed last week.
Singapore continues to see considerable HSFO380 tightness this week too, with lead times stretching up to eight days ahead. VLSFO requires up to eight days, while LSMGO is available at a shorter notice of 3-4 days.
Singapore sold similar volumes of bunker fuel in August as in July, fresh figures from Singapore’s port authority showed this week.
The bunkering hub’s total fuel oil sales were 3% lower than in August a year earlier, however, as a 6% drop in VLSFO volumes dragged down the total. The port’s suppliers have sold more than 4 million mt of bunker fuels in consecutive months from July last year, when demand had recovered from a slump during the early part of the pandemic.
Lead times in Fujairah are down on the week, with HSFO380 now requiring up to six days ahead, compared to last week’s 11 days. Lead times of four days are recommended for VLSFO and LSMGO stems in the UAE port.
Japan’s total fuel oil stocks have maintained their levels for another week, with LSFO inventories inching up on the week, and HSFO moderately shrinking, data from the Petroleum Association of Japan showed.
Tokyo’s bunker lead times continue to stand at 4-5 days for VLSFO and LSMGO, coming down from 7-8 days in July. HSFO380 requires up to seven days in advance in the Japanese capital.
Typhoon Chanthu is expected to reach Japan’s western ports and South Korea’s southern coast towards the end of the week, potentially disrupting bunkering operations in the region.
Bunker fuel oil supply tightened in South Korean ports earlier this month, as two of the country’s four refiners halted fuel oil imports for September delivery, curbing supply to ports. Recent maintenance work at a refinery also cut back domestic production capacity, and supply is expected to be tight through September, sources say.
Source: ENGINE (https://engine.online/)