News 15th May, 2024

Europe & Africa Fuel Availability Outlook 15 May 2024

Las Palmas
Malta Offshore
Richards Bay

Bunker supply is normal in the ARA hub

Bunkering partially suspended in Las Palmas

LSMGO very tight in Maputo

PHOTO: The Port of Piraeus in Athens, Greece. Getty Images

Northwest Europe

Bunker fuel availability is good in Rotterdam and in the wider ARA hub. Lead times for VLSFO in Rotterdam have come down from 4-5 days noted last week to 3-5 days now, a trader said. Similar lead times of 3-5 days are recommended for HSFO and LSMGO in the ARA hub. 

The ARA hub has imported 362,000 b/d of fuel oil so far this month, up from 252,000 b/d of fuel oil imported in April, according to cargo tracker Vortexa. 

Lithuania and Algeria have emerged as the ARA’s biggest fuel oil import sources so far this month, each accounting for 18% of the region’s total imports. Denmark holds the second spot, accounting for 17% of the region’s total imports, followed by France (13%) and Estonia (9%). 

The region has imported 538,000 b/d of gasoil so far this month, up from 358,000 b/d in April. 

Bunker fuel availability is normal in the German port of Hamburg. Suppliers are able to offer prompt supply for all grades in the port. Lead times of 3-5 days are advised to ensure full coverage from suppliers, a trader said.

Very prompt availability is tight across all bunker fuel grades off Skaw, with some suppliers able to offer stems only for non-prompt dates. A trader advises lead times of 7-10 days for all bunker fuel grades in the port.  


Bunkering was proceeding smoothly in Gibraltar on Wednesday, with minimal congestion reported, a trader told ENGINE. The trader advised lead times of 2-4 days across all grades, down from 4-6 days seen last week. 

Bunkering has been suspended in Las Palmas' outer anchorage since Monday because of rough weather conditions. Operations are unlikely to resume at the outer anchorage until Friday afternoon due to a forecast of rough weather conditions, a trader said.

Most suppliers continue to deliver stems at Las Palmas' more sheltered inner anchorage or alongside, the trader added. Availability is normal across all grades, but adverse weather conditions have increased lead times for all grades from 3-5 days advised last week to 4-6 days now.

Bunker demand has been steady in other Mediterranean ports like Piraeus, Malta Offshore and Istanbul, according to a trader. 

Availability is normal in the Greek port of Piraeus. Lead times of 3-4 days are advised across all grades in the port. Calm weather has made it conducive to bunkering in the port, a source said. 

Bunker fuel availability is also good off Malta. A trader recommends lead times of 3-4 days for all grades in the port. Bad weather is forecast to hit in periods until Saturday and may complicate bunker deliveries in the region, a source said.  

In Turkey’s Istanbul port, securing grades for very prompt dates can be difficult. Lead times of 3-4 days are recommended for all grades. Adverse weather conditions on Wednesday and Thursday could impact bunkering there.

Yacht races are scheduled to take place in the Bosphorus Strait on Sunday on the occasion of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day, according to GAC Hot Port News. During this period, ship traffic will be temporarily suspended for a few hours.


Suppliers can offer VLSFO for non-prompt delivery dates in the South African ports of Durban and Richards Bay. A trader advises lead times of 7-10 days for the bunker fuel grade in both ports. 

Durban also has normal availability of LSMGO. Lead times of 7-10 days are recommended. Wind gusts of up to 24 knots are forecast on Friday, which could impact bunkering in Durban.

Mozambique’s port of Nacala has good availability of HSFO and LSMGO. Demand has been steady for both grades, a source said. VLSFO availability is extremely tight in the port amid high demand for the grade. 

In contrast, VLSFO availability has been good in Maputo port in Mozambique. The grade's demand has been steady there. Meanwhile, LSMGO demand has been relatively high in Maputo, which has contributed to tighten supply in the port.

By Manjula Nair

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