News 29th Feb, 2024

Americas Fuel Availability Outlook 29 Feb 2024

Galveston Offshore Lightering Area (GOLA)
Long Beach
Los Angeles
New York
Port Arthur
Port Bolivar
Rio Grande
Zona Comun

Prompt availability is tight in Houston

Supply very tight in Zona Comun and in Brazilian ports

Low demand in Panama

PHOTO: Industrial operations in the Port of Galveston. Getty Images

North America

Bunker demand has been normal this week in Houston. Availability of all fuel grades has been tight for prompt supply in Houston this week. Many suppliers are fully booked due to strong demand in recent weeks, and intermittent weather-related disruptions have also contributed to the tight supply situation.

Demand has been good in Port Arthur, where prompt HSFO, VLSFO and LSMGO supply is tight. The earliest delivery date for HSFO with one supplier is 6 March.

In Bolivar Road, securing prompt VLSFO and LSMGO stems is possible as demand has been slow this week. One supplier is able to offer both fuel grades with a lead time of 6-8 days.

Bunkering was proceeding normally in the Galveston Offshore Lightering Area (GOLA) on Thursday, after being suspended during the earlier part of this week. The weather is forecast to be calm over the weekend and into next week.

However, due to the intermittent weather disruptions, demand has been very weak there.

All grades are tight for prompt delivery dates in the West Coast ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. Most suppliers require more than 10 days of lead time to deliver VLSFO and LSMGO stems in both ports.

Demand for VLSFO and LSMGO has been stronger for delivery dates further out in Los Angeles. Most suppliers are able to offer stems for non-prompt dates.

Prompt VLSFO and LSMGO are available in the East Coast port of New York.

Caribbean and Latin America

Bunker fuel demand has slowed down across Panama's ports after a period of good demand for both fuel grades the previous week. Availability of all fuel grades is good in Panama’s Balboa and Cristobal. Most suppliers are able to deliver stems there with 4-6 days of lead time.

In Jamaica's Kingston, securing LSMGO and VLSFO stems for prompt dates is possible, with one supplier offering both grades with a lead time of 2-3 days. However, HSFO can be tighter to secure for prompt dates, requiring 11-12 days with the supplier.

At Argentina's Zona Comun anchorage, availability of VLSFO and LSMGO stems is limited, with most suppliers unable to deliver the grades for delivery dates after 10 March. A surge in traffic within the Upriver area has resulted in a surplus of vessels bunkering at Zona Comun, making it challenging for bunker suppliers to offer prompt stems. As a result, some ships are diverting to Bahia Blanca, particularly those bound for the Pacific region, Antares Ship Agents says.

The limited number of suppliers offering stems in Zona Comun, coupled with intermittent weather disruptions, has led to bunker fuel supply shortages.

In Brazil's southeastern and southern regions and the ports of Uruguay, bunker fuel supply remains strained due to refinery outages and adverse weather conditions.

In Brazil’s Rio Grande, one supplier requires a lead time of at least 11-12 days to deliver VLSFO and LSMGO stems.

By Debarati Bhattacharjee

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