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ENGINE: Europe & Africa Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

ARA and Gibraltar Strait ports remains well supplied across fuel grades, while HSFO380 has tightened off Malta this week.

ARA’s bunker ports are well supplied across bunker fuel oil and gasoil grades. Lead times of 1-3 days are recommended for stems, which is significantly shorter than in other major bunkering hubs such as Fujairah and Singapore.

ARA’s fuel oil inventories fell to six-week lows of 7.13 million bbls last week, data from Insights Global showed.

HSFO export cargoes went from ARA to St. Eustatius, Spain, Morocco and Sweden in the week to 9 September, according to vessel tracking. Low sulphur fuel oil (LSFO) cargoes headed for Gibraltar, Malta and Spain.

The ARA imported the vast majority of its HSFO from Russia, as it is a transit hub for Russian HSFO to Europe and more faraway regions. LSFO imports mainly came from Estonia.

Bunkering is also going ahead without delays in the Gibraltar Strait, Canary Islands and Malta, where the weather has been calm and vessel congestion minimal over the past few weeks.

HSFO380 has tightened off Malta, with one supplier expecting 20 September to be the earliest it can deliver. Two new bunker suppliers entered the Maltese market this summer and at least one of them carry HSFO380, providing buyers with more alternative sources for the grade.
A supplier in Istanbul still has no availability for near supply dates, while other suppliers in the Turkish capital have readily available prompt volumes to supply.

High swell is forecast in Las Palmas on Friday and next Wednesday, and a brief period of strong winds is forecast in the Gibraltar Strait on Monday. This could disrupt bunkering at anchorage.

A sustained period of strong winds is forecast off Skaw on Thursday and Friday, potentially disrupting bunker deliveries. VLSFO and LSMGO grades are in good supply across Skaw and nearby Gothenburg, while HSFO380 can be tight for prompt dates as suppliers tend to allocate less barge tank space for it.

Strong winds halted bunkering at the Algoa Bay anchorage on Tuesday. The weather disruptions have delayed three vessels from bunkering at the anchorage. Another four vessels are due to arrive at the anchorage on Wednesday, and seven vessels on Thursday and Friday.

Shipping agent Sturrock Grindrod expected suppliers to resume deliveries during calmer weather on Wednesday, and that Algoa Bay could see more weather disruptions from Saturday 18 September.

Port Elizabeth and Algoa Bay’s VLSFO and LSMGO prices rose to wide premiums over other South African ports at the start of the month. Despite higher premiums, Algoa Bay may still be the more attractive bunkering option as there are no calling costs at anchorage.
Source: ENGINE (https://engine.online/)

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