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ENGINE: Europe & Africa Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

Northwest Europe

In the ARA hub, availability is normal across all grades. Lead times of 4-6 days are recommended for HSFO and 5-7 days for VLSFO, a trader says. Meanwhile, LSMGO availability is normal for prompt delivery dates with 2-4 days of lead times.

The ARA’s independently held fuel oil stocks have averaged 3% lower so far this month than across January, according to Insights Global data.

The region has imported 121,000 b/d of fuel oil in February so far, down from 222,000 b/d in January, according to cargo tracker Vortexa data. The ARA hub has imported low-sulphur fuel oil (LSFO) and HSFO in a 63/37 ratio in February so far, unlike in January, when the ratio was tilted more towards HSFO at 48/52.

Sweden continues to be the ARA hub’s biggest fuel oil import source so far this month, accounting for 22% of the ARA’s total imports. The UK (20%) has ranked second, followed by Germany (17%), Poland (16%) and Denmark (11%).

The ARA hub’s independent gasoil inventories — which include diesel and heating oil — have increased by 6% so far this month. The ARA has imported 203,000 b/d so far this month, down from 399,000 b/d of gasoil imported in January.

In the German port of Hamburg, lead times of 3-5 days are still recommended for all three grades.

Off Skaw, HSFO is available only for non-prompt delivery dates and can require lead times of 7-10 days. VLSFO and LSMGO grades are available with comparatively shorter lead times of 5-7 days. Adverse weather is forecast off Skaw for the remaining days of this week and could disrupt bunkering, port agent MH Bland said.


In Gibraltar, lead times of 6-8 days are recommended for HSFO and 5-6 days for VLSFO. LSMGO can be secured with shorter lead times of 2-4 days. Strong wind gusts of 25-28 knots are forecast to hit the Gibraltar Strait between Thursday and Friday. High winds could impact bunkering in the ports there.

In Ceuta, VLSFO and LSMGO availability are normal. Most suppliers can offer both grades for prompt delivery dates, according to a source.

Availability is normal for non-prompt delivery dates in the Canary Islands ports of Las Palmas and Tenerife. Bunkering in Las Palmas was disrupted on Wednesday because of wind gusts of nearly 25 knots and waves of over 1.5 meters, according to a source.

Rough weather conditions off Malta are likely to impact bunkering at some anchorage locations on Wednesday and over the weekend. Most suppliers can deliver stems for prompt dates, but these deliveries are subject to weather conditions, a trader told ENGINE.

In the Greek port of Piraeus, availability has improved for all grades. The weather is currently calm at the port, but strong wind gusts in the range of 21-31 knots are forecast in the area over the weekend.

Bunker fuel availability is normal in the Turkish port of Istanbul at the moment, with suppliers able to offer grades for prompt delivery dates. Calm weather is forecast for the rest of this week.

Meanwhile, bunkering is progressing normally in the Portuguese ports of Lisbon and Sines. VLSFO and LSMGO availability are normal in these ports.


LSMGO supply is dry at both Durban and Richards Bay in South Africa. VLSFO supply is available, but lead times of up to two weeks are recommended for the grade, according to a trader.

As a result, several vessels are diverting towards Port Louis for bunkering. However, bunkering in the Mauritius port can be difficult at the moment because of a cyclone warning. Bunker operations in the anchorage area were suspended on Wednesday. Port Louis is unlikely to resume operations before 24 February, which could lead to bunker congestion, MH Bland said.
Source: ENGINE, By Manjula Nair, https://engine.online/news

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