News 26th Apr, 2023

Europe & Africa Fuel Availability Outlook

Las Palmas
Malta Offshore
Port Elizabeth (Algoa Bay)

VLSFO and HSFO supply remains tight in the ARA

Prompt HSFO supply tightens in Gibraltar

Availability normal in Durban and Algoa Bay

PHOTO: Oil products tanker moored at the Port of Gibraltar. Getty Images

Northwest Europe

VLSFO and HSFO availability is still tight in the ARA hub, partly because of product shortages at refineries. Shell’s Pernis refinery near Rotterdam is undergoing a scheduled three-month maintenance, which is set to be completed on 1 May. Around 200,000 b/d of crude distillation unit capacity has been offline.

Some bunker suppliers in the ARA are fully booked for the remaining days of this month. The earliest delivery dates for VLSFO and HSFO with some suppliers stretch out to dates in early May, a source says.

Meanwhile, independently held fuel oil stocks in the ARA have averaged 1% bigger in the first three weeks of this month than across March. The region’s fuel oil stocks grew with higher imports.

According to cargo tracker Vortexa, the region's fuel oil imports have primarily arrived from the UAE and Lithuania (12% each), Estonia (11%) and Poland (10%).

Availability of VLSFO and LSMGO is said to be normal for prompt delivery off Skaw, a source says. Delivery prospects for HSFO are still subject to enquiries, the source adds.

In Germany’s Hamburg, prompt supply of VLSFO, HSFO and LSMGO is said to be normal. Lead times of around 5-6 days are advised for deliveries of all fuel grades, a source says.


Securing prompt deliveries of HSFO can be slightly difficult in Gibraltar this week, a source says. However, supply of VLSFO and LSMGO is said to be normal there, requiring lead times of around three days, a source says.

Weather conditions are forecast to remain conducive to bunkering in Gibraltar Strait ports this week. This would allow suppliers to deliver stems smoothly.  

Minimal congestion was reported in Gibraltar and Algeciras on Wednesday, according to port agent MH Bland. One supplier in Gibraltar and two in Algeciras were behind schedule on Wednesday morning.

Availability of VLSFO and LSMGO is normal for prompt dates in Las Palmas, a source says. The port is forecast to experience favourable weather conditions this week, which would allow smooth bunker deliveries at its outer anchorage, MH Bland said.

Bunker fuels availability is normal around Malta. Some suppliers can offer deliveries for prompt dates off Malta, a source says.

Bunker supply is also normal in Greece’s Piraeus port. Prompt deliveries are possible there, a source says.

Prompt supply of VLSFO is normal in Portugal’s Lisbon, a source says.


Availability of VLSFO and LSMGO is said to be normal in Durban and Algoa Bay. However, securing prompt deliveries can be slightly difficult in both ports and stems may require lead times of up to seven days, a source says.

Bunkering is progressing normally in Algoa Bay, according to Rennies Ships Agency. Strong winds and swells of up to 3 metres are forecast to hit the bay on Thursday, which could complicate deliveries. 11 vessels are due to arrive for bunkers in Port Elizabeth and Algoa Bay over the course of the rest of the week, Rennies says.

Bunkering is going ahead as usual in Mozambique’s ports of Nacala and Maputo. Prompt supply of VLSFO and LSMGO is normal in both locations, a source says.

By Shilpa Sharma

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