ENGINE: East of Suez Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook
VLSFO and HSFO supply remains “super tight” for prompt dates in Singapore. Recommended lead times are around 11-15 days.
Bunker demand has been robust in Singapore so far this week amid lower Brent crude and bunker prices. A series of VLSFO and LSMGO stems were fixed at the beginning of the week, while HSFO fixtures have been fewer.
Last week, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) temporarily banned one of Singapore’s top HSFO suppliers for two months after its name surfaced in a major HSFO organic chloride contamination incident that occurred in February and March. The port authority’s latest action could tighten HSFO availability in Singapore further, at least in the short term, a source says.
Tightening HSFO availability prospects and a steep decline in Singapore’s VLSFO price in recent weeks has contributed to narrow the port’s Hi5 spread to $256/mt, which is less than half its peak above $570/mt around mid-July.
LSMGO remains more readily available, and its lead times have come down to 4-6 days, from 9-12 days last month.
VLSFO and LSMGO availability is normal in China’s Zhoushan and Shanghai. VLSFO is readily available for prompt dates as some suppliers have received VLSFO replenishment stocks, sources say.
Availability is normal across HSFO, VLSFO and LSMGO grades in Hong Kong as suppliers have ample stocks. Recommended lead times are around 4-5 days, while some suppliers can offer deliveries for prompt dates if the weather permits, sources say.
But a typhoon is forecast to pass near Hong Kong and could trigger bunker delays or suspension until Wednesday. The typhoon is not forecast to head for a direct hit on Hong Kong. As it moves north from the South China Sea it is projected to curve off to the northwest towards Hainan Island.
Availability is normal across all grades in southern and western South Korean ports. Some suppliers can offer HSFO, VLSFO and LSMGO for prompt dates in Busan. Recommended lead times for VLSFO and LSMGO have come down to 4-5 days, from 8-13 days last week, while HSFO has a shorter lead time of 3-4 days.
Bunker operations are running smoothly in Taiwan’s Taichung, with no delays reported so far, sources say. VLSFO and LSMGO availability is normal, but barge availability is reported tight.
Vessels were exercising caution while passing through the Taiwan Strait last week, when China conducted military drills very close to some of Taiwan’s major ports, including Taichung, Keelung, Suao and Kaohsiung. The drills were announced in response to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, which infuriated Beijing.
Availability of LSMGO and VLSFO remains normal in India’s Mumbai. VLSFO availability is tight in Mundra on India’s northwest coast and requires around 11-12 days of lead time, while HSFO has a shorter lead time of five days.
Meanwhile, rough weather conditions in southern India’s Cochin port have disrupted barge deliveries in recent days.
VLSFO and LSMGO availability is normal in Sri Lanka’s Colombo and Trincomalee. Some suppliers can offer VLSFO and LSMGO deliveries in Colombo for prompt dates if the weather permits, sources say. Suppliers in Sri Lanka’s Colombo continue to struggle to deliver stems outside of the port’s outer limits (OPL) due to rough weather conditions, sources say.
Bunker operations have yet to fully normalise in Fujairah after the port’s terminals were hit with heavy flooding in late July.
Barge loadings have resumed from some terminals in Fujairah, but delays and congestion persist. As more terminals have resumed operations since last week, pressure on VLSFO supply has eased somewhat in the port, a trader says.
A supplier can offer VLSFO from 19 August onwards and another two can offer deliveries from 21-23 August. Some terminals are still not fully operational as operators want to rectify all issues before allowing any barge loadings, sources say.
VLSFO availability is almost out of stock in Oman’s Sohar. The port is located near Fujairah and saw spike in bunker enquiries in the wake of Fujairah’s flooding and supply constraints. Sohar has just one bunker barge carrying VLSFO. It normally loads fuel from Fujairah but has been prevented by the flood disruptions, a trader says. But LSMGO is readily available by truck in Sohar.
VLSFO availability is normal in Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah, while LSMGO is reported tight, sources say.
VLSFO is almost out of stock in Egypt’s Port Suez as a local refiner is unable to match production with demand, sources say. HSFO and LSMGO availability is normal.
Source: ENGINE (https://engine.online/)