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June 22, 2018

Bunker Fuel

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Med and Africa Bunkers Commentary

New York (Platts)--07Dec17/0745 pm EST/ 0045 GMT

The bunker market in the Mediterranean, Black Sea and Africa was mixed Thursday. Availability at Gibraltar was good and demand was average, sources said. Previous congestion at Gibraltar eased on the day. Seven bunker supply operations were in progress, no vessels were waiting to enter the port in order to bunker, and there were no suppliers with vessels waiting to enter the port, a spokesman for the port authority said Thursday afternoon. Demand at Malta had already started to increase as people looked to fix for the Christmas period, a supplier at the port said, adding demand will remain high until December 24 and then quieten for the remainder of the month. While product availability was good, barge availability was tight but likely to recover next week, sources said. Demand at Piraeus was up significantly from typical levels for this time in the month due to a large fall in Mediterranean cargoes Wednesday, a trader said, adding that demand could be expected to pick up further through the day. Market sources said demand will likely continue to rise next week as fixtures are booked up for the end of the month. "Suppliers will get booked up for the holiday season," a trader said. Barge availability at the port was fine though that was likely to tighten moving further into the month. Tight barge availability combined with increasing demand could result in a wider differential between bunker fuel and Mediterranean cargo prices, said a trader. Availability of 380 CST fuel oil and marine gasoil was good at the port, but 180 CST fuel oil remained unavailable until Saturday, sources said. At Istanbul, demand was heard mixed. A supplier said demand was calm while a trader said it had ticked up Thursday morning although it was still "not as busy as Piraeus", Similarly to Piraeus, demand was expected to pick up further into December as everyone looks to "fix mid-December ready for Christmas and New Year," a supplier said. Availability in the port was heard to be good. Fuel oil prices at Novorossiisk, Russia, fell day on day, while marine gasoil strengthened. Demand and availability at Durban was good, a trader said. Demand was also expected to pick up at the port in "the next week or so" as everyone looks to book in fixtures for the year end, the trader said.


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