News 24th May, 2023

Europe & Africa Fuel Availability Outlook

Cape Town
Las Palmas
Malta Offshore
Port Elizabeth (Algoa Bay)
Richards Bay

Prompt VLSFO supply tight in Rotterdam

Bunkering resumes at Las Palmas’ outer anchorage

Refinery restart to boost South African VLSFO supply

PHOTO: Above view of Durban Harbour, South Africa. Getty Images

Northwest Europe

Bunker supply is said to be normal in Rotterdam, but securing prompt delivery of VLSFO can be slightly difficult as some suppliers are running low on stocks, a source says. Availability of HSFO and LSMGO has improved in the last two weeks.

Independently held gasoil stocks in the ARA averaged 5% higher in the first three weeks of May than across April.

India emerged as the ARA’s top gasoil import source this month. Gasoil imports from the country have accounted for 25% of the region’s total so far this month, according to cargo tracker Vortexa.

Other gasoil import sources for the ARA were Saudi Arabia (16%), the UAE (14%), the US and Kuwait (7%).

Bunker fuel availability is said to be tight for prompt dates in Flushing.

Supply across all fuel grades is normal in the German port of Hamburg. Lead times of around 5-6 days are recommended for VLSFO, HSFO and LSMGO there, a source says.


Bunker fuel availability is said to be normal in Gibraltar, but fixing prompt deliveries of HSFO can be slightly difficult, a source says. Lead times of 5-7 days are advised for good coverage from suppliers, the source adds. Recommended lead times for VLSFO and LSMGO are 4-6 days and 3-5 days out, respectively.

Meanwhile, VLSFO supply is under pressure for prompt delivery days in Algeciras, where one supplier is fully booked, according to a source. Supply of VLSFO and LSMGO grades is normal in Ceuta.

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

In Las Palmas, suppliers have resumed bunker deliveries at the port’s outer anchorage after being hampered by bad weather in the last few days, MH Bland says. The weather “seems suitable this week to take bunkers at outer anchorage,” the port agent adds.

Bunker operations are also running normally in the nearby port of Tenerife.

Bunker fuel supply across all grades is said to be normal in Malta. Some suppliers can offer deliveries for prompt dates off Malta, a source says.

Fixing prompt VLSFO stems can be difficult in the Greek port of Piraeus this week, but supply of other grades is normal, another source says.


Supply of VLSFO and LSMGO is said to be normal in Durban and Algoa Bay. However, stems require lead times of up to seven days in both locations, a source says.

Bunkering is progressing normally in Algoa Bay, according to Rennies Ships Agency. Strong winds and high swells are forecast to hit the bay in periods between Thursday and Friday, which could delay operations.

Availability of VLSFO is expected to improve in Cape Town and Richards Bay with the restart of Astron Energy's refinery. The company’s nameplate 100,000 b/d refinery just north of Cape Town has recently resumed operations after being offline for nearly three years, Reuters reported. The refinery was shut down in 2020 after a major fire. The refinery used to produce VLSFO and other fuels for bunker supply in Cape Town and Richards Bay, a source says.

Prompt supply of VLSFO and LSMGO is said to be normal in Mozambique’s Nacala port. But VLSFO is tight for prompt delivery in Maputo, a source says.

By Shilpa Sharma

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