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ENGINE: Europe & Africa Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

Northwest Europe

Availability is normal in Rotterdam and in the wider ARA hub. Lead times have largely remained unchanged in recent weeks. A trader advises lead times of 3-5 days for optimal coverage across all grades.

The ARA’s independently held fuel oil stocks have held steady this month compared to May, according to Insights Global data.

The region has imported 215,000 b/d of fuel oil so far this month, down from 252,000 b/d of fuel oil imported in May, according to data from cargo tracker Vortexa. The ARA imported low-sulphur fuel oil (LSFO) and HSFO in a 54/46 ratio in May, but coming into June, the ratio has tilted more towards HSFO and changed to 49/51.

Lithuania has been the ARA’s top fuel import source this month, accounting for 21% of the region’s total imports. France has come second at 20%, and the UK has ranked third at 14% of the total imports. Other fuel oil import sources include Spain (10%), Sweden (9%) and Estonia (8%).

The ARA hub’s independent gasoil inventories — which include diesel and heating oil — have declined by 2% in June so far.

The Port of Antwerp-Bruges authority announced that clean-up operations near the Deurganck dock were completed on Tuesday. Quay walls are now fully available, and the selective navigation ban has been lifted, the port authority stated in its latest update.

The oil spill incident occurred during a bunker operation on 6 June and a selective ban on navigation was imposed after this incident. Bunkering, however, remained unaffected.

In the French ports of Saint-Nazaire and Montoir, dock workers continue industrial action and strikes. Another strike action is scheduled for Thursday and is set to continue intermittently until 28 June in both ports. The strikes could impact bunkering in these ports, with suppliers unlikely to offer on the days when the strike action takes place, a trader told ENGINE.

Bunker fuel availability is good in the German port of Hamburg, a trader said. Lead times are unchanged from the last few weeks, with 3-5 days advised for all three grades in the port.

Securing stems for prompt dates remains a challenge off Skaw, with most suppliers only able to offer non-prompt dates across all grades. A trader advises lead times of 7-10 days for all three grades. Adverse weather is forecast off Skaw on Thursday and Friday, which may trigger bunkering disruptions in the port.


Supply tightness in Gibraltar has eased since last week, a trader told ENGINE. Prompt availability of all grades was tight in the port last week, with 8-10 days recommended for VLSFO and 5-7 days for both HSFO and LSMGO. Lead times have now come down to 3-5 days for all grades.

Availability is normal in the port of Las Palmas in the Canary Islands. Lead times of 4-6 days are advised for all grades, a trader said. The port is likely to experience adverse weather conditions intermittently from Wednesday to Tuesday next week. This may impact bunkering in the region.

Demand has increased slightly in other Mediterranean ports like Piraeus, Malta Offshore and Istanbul, a trader said. These ports had witnessed subdued demand in the last few weeks.

Bunker availability is good in the Greek port of Piraeus, according to a trader. Lead times are unchanged from last week, with 3-4 days still advised across all grades. Rough weather may impact bunkering in the port between Wednesday and Saturday.

Malta Offshore also has good availability for all bunker grades. A trader advises lead times of 3-4 days for all three grades in the port. Bad weather is forecast in the area on Thursday and Friday, which may hamper bunkering.

In the Turkish port of Istanbul, bunkering has been put on hold due to Eid-al-Adha holidays declared until Thursday, according to traders. Availability is good for all grades in the port.
Southbound vessel traffic in the Dardanelles was suspended on Wednesday morning, with resumption planned later that afternoon, according to GAC Hot Port News. The traffic suspension comes amid a forest fire near the city of Canakkale on Tuesday, with efforts being made to extinguish the fire.


VLSFO availability is slightly tight for prompt delivery dates in the South African ports of Durban and Richards Bay, a trader said. Lead times of 7-10 days are advised in both ports, according to a trader.

Prompt LSMGO supply is tight in Durban. Wind gusts of 24 knots are forecast to hit the region on Friday and may impact bunkering in the port.

In Mozambique’s port of Nacala, HSFO availability remains tight amid steady demand, a source said.

Availability of VLSFO and LSMGO is good in Mozambique’s Maputo port and demand is stable for both grades.
Source: ENGINE, By Manjula Nair, (https://engine.online/news)

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