ENGINE: Europe & Africa Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook
Rough weather has partly suspended bunkering in Gibraltar Strait ports, and bunker fuels remain readily available in the ARA despite another stock draw.
ARA’s independent fuel oil inventories fell by 1% to two-month lows of 7.09 million bbls last week, according to Insights Global.
Fuel oil was pulled out of the bunkering hub, including a 1 million-bbl low sulphur fuel oil (LSFO) departing Singapore. That was the first Singapore-bound fuel oil cargo out of ARA in two weeks, according to vessel tracking.
ARA hub’s gasoil stocks retreated from eight-week highs, shedding 7% to 16.68 million bbls.
VLSFO, HSFO380 and LSMGO are widely available in ARA’s bunkering ports, however, with several suppliers quoting for stem dates as prompt as 0-3 days.
Vitol Bunkers has announced it will start supplying bunker fuels and biofuel bunker blends in the ARA area from next month. VLSFO and HSFO380 will be on offer from 1 October, while not LSMGO.
Strong winds and heavy swell suspended some Gibraltar Strait bunkering on Wednesday, according to port agent MH Bland.
Bunkering outside of Gibraltar’s outer port limits and some deliveries in the Bay of Gibraltar have been halted. Seven vessels are waiting for the weather conditions to improve and for barges to finish other deliveries in the port. A supplier is delayed by around half a day.
Swell restricts bunkering to inner anchorage in Algeciras, congesting the more limited space there with vessels.
Bunkering has been suspended at anchorage in Ceuta. Deliveries in port are still possible. Weather conditions are forecast to improve in the Spanish enclave on Thursday morning.
Bunker fuels are generally in good availability across northern European and Mediterranean ports, with no significant shortages.
A supplier has replenished stocks in Istanbul after being out of product for two weeks. Other suppliers had ample supplies to cover the gap throughout that period.
More weather disruptions are expected in Algoa Bay on Wednesday and Thursday. Suppliers have been working to clear delivery backlogs after bunkering was suspended during rough weather on Monday and Tuesday. Lead times of around one week are advised for VLSFO and LSMGO in Algoa Bay and the adjacent Port Elizabeth.
Fuel availability is generally good across other South African ports such as Durban, Richards Bay and Cape Town.
Gale-strength wind gusts are forecast in Skaw from Wednesday to Saturday. Deliveries could get disrupted and possibly moved into the nearby port of Gothenburg.
Source: ENGINE (https://engine.online/)