Bunker Price Fluctuations And Port Disruptions

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America’s bunker prices have mostly gained with Brent, and the Port of Baltimore has suspended all inbound and outbound traffic after a bridge collapse, reports Engine.

 

Changes on the day, to 08.00 CDT (13.00 GMT) today:

  • VLSFO prices up in Houston ($5/mt), Los Angeles ($3/mt), New York ($2/mt) and Balboa ($1/mt)
  • LSMGO prices are up in Houston ($13/mt), New York ($6/mt), and Los Angeles ($3/mt), and down in Balboa ($10/mt)
  • HSFO prices are up in Los Angeles ($2/mt), and down in Balboa ($12/mt), New York ($4/mt), and Houston ($2/mt)

Houston’s LSMGO price has gained the most in the past day, with support from a higher-priced 150-500 mt prompt delivery stem. Meanwhile, New York’s LSMGO stem has gained marginally, narrowing its LSMGO price premium over Houston from yesterday’s $10/mt to just $3/mt now.

Prompt VLSFO and LSMGO availability is tight in Jamaica’s Kingston. A supplier is not able to offer stems for delivery dates before 31 March.

Bunkering has been suspended in the Galveston Offshore Lightering Area (GOLA) since yesterday due to rough weather conditions. The area is experiencing strong gale-force wind gusts of up to 27 knots. A window of calm weather later today could enable bunker operations to resume in GOLA before conditions deteriorate again.

The Port of Baltimore has ceased all vessel traffic as a part of the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed after a collision with a container ship earlier today. This has affected bunker deliveries at the port and Annapolis Anchorages.

Once traffic resumes, deliveries in the port area will be available again since bunker barges do not need to cross the collapse site, a source says. Deliveries at Annapolis Anchorages are on hold until southbound traffic is permitted, with no set timeline for resumption.

Brent

The front-month ICE Brent contract gained $1.02/bbl on the day, to trade at $86.86/bbl at 08.00 CDT (13.00 GMT) today.

Upward pressure:

Brent futures have risen due to mounting supply concerns, driven by ongoing geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and between Russia and Ukraine.

The heightened tension follows the shutdown of a 70,000 b/d crude unit at Rosneft’s Kuibyshev refinery in the Russian city of Samara after a Ukrainian drone attack on Saturday.

In the Middle East, tensions escalated after a Houthi militia member warned Saudi Arabia and other US-allied nations in a televised interview, stating that any supporter of Israel would be considered a “legitimate target.”

The Russian government also instructed oil companies to reduce crude output in the second quarter to meet the 9 million b/d target set within the OPEC+ alliance, Reuters reported citing three sources.

Downward pressure:

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) adopted a resolution yesterday, urging an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Iran-aligned Hamas militants, also calling for the immediate release of all remaining Israeli hostages.

This development has alleviated some supply concerns in the global oil market, exerting downward pressure on Brent futures.

Meanwhile, oil market analysts are awaiting the release of US inflation data due later this week. The US Federal Reserve (Fed) is widely expected to postpone its interest rate cuts if the inflation remains at higher levels.

Higher interest rates may restrain global oil demand growth, as dollar-denominated commodities like oil become more expensive for non-dollar holders.

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Source: Engine