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ENGINE: East of Suez Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

Supply of bunker fuels remains tight across most East of Suez ports, with lead times for VLSFO stems in Singapore stretching up to 11 days this week.

Singapore’s residual fuel oil stocks grew by 4% to 23.17 million bbls, reaching their highest levels since the beginning of December last year, according to Enterprise Singapore data published last week.

Despite the weekly stockbuild, lead times for bunker fuels remain long in Singapore. The bunker hub’s demand seems to have picked up at the beginning of this week, adding further pressure on lead times, according to trading sources.

VLSFO stems require up to 11 days now, three days up from last week, while HSFO380 continues to be tight in the bunkering hub, with lead times at 12-15 days. At the same time, LSMGO stems are more readily available in the port and can be booked with a lead time of 5-7 days, which is one day longer than last week.

Fujairah’s low sulphur bunker availability is similar as last week. Supply in the UAE hub has improved from two weeks ago, when a local refinery experienced production constraints. Lead times for VLSFO and LSMGO stems are unchanged on the week at six days in Fujairah, while lead times for HSFO380 has dropped from 12 days to eight days now. Fujairah’s residual fuel oil stocks rebounded after reaching their lowest levels since 2019 last week.

Bunker fuels can be procured at a shorter notice in Zhoushan and Shanghai, which currently have the shortest lead times across East of Suez ports. Lead times for VLSFO and LSMGO stems now stand at three days in the two Chinese ports, up from two days last week.
VLSFO and LSMGO stems remain tight in South Korea’s southern ports for another week. Lead times are steady on the week in Busan, stretching up to nine days, which is one day longer than last week.

Similarly, Far East Russian ports continue to face issues with bunker availability as ongoing maintenance work at two local refineries contribute in keeping bunkers tight in the country’s ports. Only one supplier has LSMGO available, while smaller quantities of VLSFO can be procured in Far East Russian ports with extended lead times.

Delivery capacity has improved in Tokyo Bay this week. Maintenance work at a supplier’s berth put pressure on the port’s bunker delivery logistics throughout March, but higher prices and subsequent lower demand has eased some of the pressure on supply.
Japanese HSFO inventories fell to six-week lows last week, as rising exports has drawn stocks. Japan exported about a third more HSFO on a weekly average in March than in February. Last week it exported 657,000 bbls of HSFO, which was twice the weekly average for February.
Source: ENGINE (https://engine.online/)

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