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Europe & Africa Fuel Availability Outlook

Northwest Europe

Securing prompt supply of VLSFO and LSMGO can be difficult in Rotterdam as delivery capacity is still under pressure with several suppliers there, a source says. Delivery dates are subject to enquiries, a source says.

Recommended lead times for LSMGO delivery in Rotterdam are around three days, a source says. Lead times of around five days are advised for VLSFO deliveries in the ARA region, and up to six days for HSFO.

The ARA’s independently held fuel oil stocks have averaged 8% higher so far this month than in February amid signs of higher net imports.

In the absence of Russian product, ARA cargo traders have sourced their fuel oil imports from the Middle East and some European countries. Lithuania has emerged as the top source for the ARA’s fuel oil imports so far this month, going by the Vortexa data. Fuel oil imports from Lithuania have accounted for 12% of the region’s total imports. Other sources of fuel oil imports have been the UK and Saudi Arabia (11% each), Italy and Poland (9% each).

The region’s gasoil inventories have averaged 1% higher so far this month than in February, supported by huge inflows from the Middle East. Saudi Arabia has become the ARA’s top gasoil import source this month and accounted for 37% of its total.

Availability of VLSFO is said to be normal-to-tight for delivery off Skaw, requiring lead times of around six days, a source says. Delivery prospects for HSFO and LSMGO are subject to enquiries, the source adds.

In Germany’s Hamburg, VLSFO and LSMGO supply is normal, requiring lead times of around 5-6 days, a source says. Delivery prospects for HSFO are subject to enquiries.

In France, extended strike action by refinery workers has impacted bunker fuels supply to French ports, according to sources. Supply is said to be tight in Marseille and Le Havre ports.

In the southern French port of Marseille-Fos, one supplier is unable to load barges at the Fluxel oil terminal as striking workers have blocked supply from the terminal, a source says. Some suppliers can load LSMGO through trucks at the nearby Dépôts Pétroliers de Fos SA (DPF), but access to the terminal could be blocked any time by the striking workers, the source warns.

In the northern French ports of Le Havre and Montoir, one supplier is unable to supply VLSFO by barge. LSMGO supply is possible but depends on how accessible the port is, the source adds.

Workers across sectors in France are protesting the government’s plans to reform the country’s retirement system, including raising the retirement age from 62 to 64. Protests intensified late last week after the government forced the reform through parliament without a vote. President Emmanuel Macron’s government faced a no confidence vote in parliament on Monday, and narrowly survived the motion.

Mediterranean

Supply of HSFO, LSMGO and VLSFO is said to be normal in Gibraltar. One supplier can offer all fuel grades with lead times of around four days, a source says. That is down from recommended lead times of up to six days a fortnight ago.

HSFO supply has also improved off Malta and in the Greek port of Piraeus, a source says.

A bit of congestion was reported in Gibraltar, Algeciras, and Ceuta on Wednesday morning, while no backlog was reported off Malta, according to port agent MH Bland. 12 vessels were scheduled to arrive for bunkers in and off Malta on Wednesday, Seatrans Shipping agency says.

Bunker fuel availability is currently normal off Malta, a source says. Some suppliers can offer prompt deliveries of all the fuel grades.

Bunker operations are limited in Las Palmas amid bad weather conditions. Suppliers have not been delivering stems at Las Palmas’ outer anchorage since Monday due to high swells, MH Bland says. Meanwhile, suppliers are offering bunker deliveries via ex-pipe at berth or by barge at the inner anchorage of the port.

Delays are expected as Las Palmas’ inner anchorage has a limited capacity to bunker one vessel at a time, MH Bland says.

Africa

Availability of VLSFO and LSMGO is said to be normal in Durban and Algoa Bay, requiring lead times of up to seven days, sources say.

Strong winds and heavy swells are forecast to hit Algoa Bay between Thursday and Friday. This could complicate deliveries and hold back some of the 16 vessels scheduled to arrive for bunkers this week. Bunkering was in progress on Wednesday morning, with one vessel receiving fuel at anchorage, Rennies Ships Agency says.

Bunker operations are running smoothly in Mozambique’s Nacala and Maputo ports. Supply of VLSFO and LSMGO is said to be normal in Nacala. Prompt availability of VLSFO is currently normal in Maputo, while restocking of LSMGO inventories is expected in the coming days, a source says.

A total of eight vessels are due to arrive for bunkers across the two ports this week, up from five last week.
Source: Engine Technologies (https://engine.online/news-single?postId=18439)

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