All grades remain tight for prompt delivery dates in the Houston area and bunker locations off the Gulf Coast. A lead time of 5-8 days is generally recommended to ensure full coverage from all suppliers in the Houston area.
On 28 January, Valero’s 255,000 b/d nameplate capacity Houston refinery started a 35-day turnaround period for four processing units, according to market intelligence provider Industrial Info Resources (IIR). The refinery produces bunker fuels, ultra-low sulphur diesel, gasoline and other products.
A supplier in Beaumont is working on resupply and blending this week. Once that is done, prompt VLSFO and LSMGO should be available with short lead times of 0-3 days.
Rough weather has again disrupted bunkering in the Galveston Offshore Lightering Area (GOLA). Bunker deliveries can change on a case-by-case basis, a source says.
Some suppliers are offering VLSFO for prompt dates at the New Orleans Outer Anchorage (NOLA). However, LSMGO availability is tight, and prices can fluctuate greatly between suppliers at the location, a source says.
VLSFO and LSMGO availability is said to be normal in the East Coast port of New York, a trader says.
All grades remain tight for prompt delivery dates in the West Coast ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. One supplier can deliver HSFO and LSMGO stems in Long Beach and Los Angeles after 16 February. Delivery prospects in Port Angeles, further north on the US West Coast, remain subject to enquiry, a source says.
VLSFO availability is normal in San Francisco. One supplier requires 5-7 days of lead time.
Bunker fuel availability remains normal in Mexico’s Manzanillo. Recommended lead times are about five days for HSFO, VLSFO and LSMGO.
Mexican state-owned energy firm Pemex continues to operate its Lazaro Cardenas refinery, located in Minatitlan, Mexico at reduced capacity (estimated at 65% capacity) due to financial constraints, IIR said. Sources say that lower production from the 285,000 b/d nameplate capacity refinery is unlikely to have any impact on bunker supply in Mexican ports.
Caribbean and Latin America
Securing VLSFO and LSMGO stems of very prompt dates (0-3 days) can be hard in Panama’s Balboa and Cristobal. Some suppliers can offer deliveries for very prompt dates, but these offers are typically fewer and are generally quoted on a subject to enquiry basis, a source says.
A lead time of six days is generally recommended to ensure coverage from all suppliers in Balboa and Cristobal. HSFO supply remains tight in both Balboa and Cristobal. Recommended lead times are typically longer for HSFO than for low sulphur grades.
LSMGO supply remains tight off Trinidad. One supplier has held back LSMGO offers amid low stocks and expects to receive replenishment cargoes by 15 February, sources say. Meanwhile, the supplier can still supply VLSFO stems.
Bunker fuel availability is normal in Colombia’s Cartagena and Santa Marta. Recommended lead times for VLSFO and LSMGO are about three days. Demand has been low so far this week, a trader said.
VLSFO and LSMGO availability is normal for deliveries at Argentina’s Zona Comun anchorage. One supplier requires six days of lead time to deliver stems. However, strong wind gusts of up to 30 knots are forecast in Zona Comun and could disrupt bunker deliveries intermittently until Saturday. Some suppliers continue to deliver stems as and when the weather permits, sources say.
VLSFO availability is tight in Uruguay’s Montevideo. One supplier is running low on stock.