News 24th May, 2024

Europe & Africa Market Update 24 May 2024

Las Palmas
Richards Bay

Regional bunker benchmarks have come down with Brent, and VLSFO availability is normal in Durban. 

PHOTO: Commercial harbour at the port of Las Palmas. Getty Images

Changes on the day to 09.00 GMT today:

  • VLSFO prices down in Durban ($35/mt), Rotterdam ($14/mt) and Gibraltar ($8/mt)  
  • LSMGO prices down in Durban ($19/mt), Rotterdam ($10/mt) and Gibraltar ($9/mt)  
  • HSFO prices unchanged in Rotterdam, and down in Gibraltar ($8/mt)

Durban’s VLSFO price has fallen steeply in the past day. A 150-500 mt VLSFO stem fixed at $653/mt for non-prompt delivery in Durban has contributed to drag the benchmark lower. Availability of VLSFO is normal in Durban, with a trader recommending lead times of 7-10 days for the grade. 

Congestion has build up in Gibraltar for the third consecutive day amid delays from suppliers. There are 11 vessels waiting for bunkers in the port today, unchanged from yesterday, a source says. Algeciras’ outer delta anchorage is also slightly congested, the source added.

In nearby Ceuta, nine vessels are due to arrive for bunkers today, unchanged from yesterday, says shipping agent Jose Salama & Co. 

In the Canary Islands’ port of Las Palmas, the LSMGO price has come down sharply by $28/mt in the past day. One lower-priced 50-150 mt LSMGO stem fixed at $788/mt yesterday has pulled the benchmark lower. This has flipped Las Palmas’ $13/mt LSMGO price premium over Gibraltar's to a $6/mt discount now.

Bunker fuel availability is normal in Las Palmas, with consistent lead times of 4-6 days recommended by traders.


The front-month ICE Brent contract lost $1.00/bbl on the day, to trade at $81.01/bbl at 09.00 GMT.

Upward pressure:

Currently, the oil market’s attention is on the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies (OPEC+).

“The key issue that currently moves [Brent] oil prices is whether or not OPEC will extend production cuts into 2025,” Price Futures Group’s senior market analyst Phil Flynn remarked.

The coalition is expected to convene in the first week of June to decide whether an extension of the ongoing 2.2 million b/d voluntary production cut is required in the second half of this year.

“There’s no doubt about the commitment by OPEC plus to continue along the path that they are on,” Flynn said.

Downward pressure:

Brent futures moved lower for the fourth consecutive day amid demand growth concerns in the world’s leading crude oil-consuming country, the US.

“Ongoing market recalibration of expectations over the US Federal Reserve’s monetary policy through the rest of this year remains centre-stage for the oil complex,” VANDA Insights’ founder and analyst Vandana Hari said.

Minutes from the US Federal Reserve’s (Fed) latest Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting showed that sticky inflation remained the US central bank’s biggest concern.

“The Fed Minutes were a buzz kill for smoking hot commodities after it said that some Fed officials might be willing to raise interest [rates], if need be,” Flynn said.

The Fed’s bearish remarks dampened the oil market’s expectation of a steady demand growth this year as it could delay interest rate cuts.

By Manjula Nair and Aparupa Mazumder

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