News 11th Oct, 2023

Europe & Africa Fuel Availability Outlook 11 Oct 2023

Malta Offshore
Port Elizabeth (Algoa Bay)
Richards Bay

HSFO supply improves in Gibraltar

Algoa Bay bunkering remains disrupted

VLSFO supply tight in Mozambique

PHOTO: Cruise ship in the Port of Gibraltar. Getty Images

Northwest Europe

VLSFO and LSMGO availability is said to be normal in Rotterdam and in the wider ARA hub. Lead times of up to four days are generally recommended. One supplier can supply both grades for very prompt dates (0-2 days), a source says.

Securing HSFO supply for prompt dates is still difficult in the ARA hub. Most suppliers require at least 8-10 days of lead times, while some can supply the grade for prompt delivery dates, a source says.

Another source claims that HSFO loading delays have been reported at some oil terminals in the ARA hub. Rotterdam’s Hi5 spread was pegged at $71/mt on Wednesday, down from $78/mt in the past week.

All three grades remain in good availability in the German port of Hamburg. Lead times of up to five days are recommended there.

German bunker supplier BMT delivered a B100 biofuel stem in Cuxhaven. The company supplied 1,200 mt of biofuel made up of 100% used cooking oil methyl ester (UCOME) to the dredger vessel Kaishuu last week.

Lead times of three weeks are generally recommended for biofuel deliveries in Cuxhaven. “Since the stems now are more project-based with a few select partners I would indicate a conservative lead time of three weeks,” a source from BMT told ENGINE.

VLSFO and LSMGO availability remains normal for delivery off Skaw. Recommended lead times for both grades are around 7-10 days.


HSFO availability has shown signs of improvement in Gibraltar after some suppliers received replenishment cargoes. At least two suppliers in the port have sufficient stocks now, a source says. Recommended lead times for the grade have nearly halved from 10-15 days last week, to 6-8 days. One supplier can supply HSFO for very prompt dates.

Lead times of 5-7 days are recommended for VLSFO and LSMGO deliveries in Gibraltar.

HSFO prices have eased a bit in Gibraltar to widen the port's Hi5 spread from $19/mt last week, to $31/mt on Wednesday. The grade was offered around $572/mt on Wednesday.

VLSFO and LSMGO availability is normal in the Portuguese ports of Lisbon and Sines, a source says. According to Wood Mackenzie data, the Galp refinery in Sines is set to undergo periodic maintenance between 15 October and 29 November. A supplier claims that bunker fuel availability in Portuguese ports is unlikely to be impacted by the refinery maintenance.

Prompt availability of VLSFO and LSMGO is tight in other bunker delivery locations in the Mediterranean such as Piraeus and off Malta. HSFO is even tighter off Malta, with limited supply available.


Offshore bunkering has been suspended in Algoa Bay since last month, when the South African Revenue Service (SARS) detained bunker barges over import duty disputes. Meanwhile, some onshore deliveries have reportedly resumed in Algoa Bay, a port agent claims. But some sources argue that these claims could be rumours.

Talks between bunker suppliers and authorities to resolve the Algoa Bay bunkering crisis have reached an advanced stage. There is a possibility that a final outcome may be reached by late next week, the port agent adds.

Some buyers have booked stems for bunker deliveries in Algoa Bay in late October. They anticipate that bunkering could resume by that time.

VLSFO and LSMGO availability has remained steady so far in Durban and Richards Bay. Lead times of up to seven days are recommended in both ports.

VLSFO availability is tight in Mozambique’s Nacala and Maputo ports, a source says. One supplier in Maputo requires lead times of at least 10 days for the product delivery. On the other hand, HSFO and LSMGO supply has been good in Nacala.

By Nithin Chandran

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