Monjasa Already Sees WAF Bunker Demand Boost From Ships Avoiding Red Sea

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Thursday December 21, 2023

Global marine fuel supplier and trading firm Monjasa is already seeing a boost to sales in West Africa from ships plotting longer voyages to avoid the Suez Canal and Red Sea.

The firm has already made its first supplies in West Africa to ships rerouting to avoid Suez, Simone Piredda, a senior trader in Monjasa's Dubai office, told Ship & Bunker.

"Monjasa has now supplied the first originally Suez-bound vessels in West Africa," Piredda said.

"During the past days we have been in further contact with many of the largest container lines who are already rerouting vessels around Cape of Good Hope and into the West Africa region.

"Most lately, we are also seeing tankers and bulkers rerouting and expect to receive more demand from these segments too."

Following a spate of attacks on commercial shipping in the Red Sea over the past two weeks, many leading shipping companies have now instructed their vessels to avoid the area -- this not using the Suez Canal -- and take longer voyages around Africa instead.

The container industry alone avoiding Suez could add 2% to global bunker demand, according to a Ship & Bunker analysis. Tankers and bulkers following suit could double that figure.

"We are confident that there will be a sufficient volume of different fuel grades available," Piredda siad.

"We generally see the largest bunker demand at Walvis Bay Anchorage and offshore Walvis Bay, Namibia, and Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

"These are the locations involving both the least deviation considering the rerouting of the vessels and costs of bunker only calls.

"Our current West Africa operations consist of a floating storage (Monjasa Leader, 68,000-dwt) deployed in the Gulf of Guinea and around 10 smaller supply tankers covering the regional demand.

"This means that we can scale the supply according to the demand rather fast, but it is still too early to say how the critical situation in the Red Sea will affect the total fuel demand in West Africa.

"We are monitoring the situation and listening to shipowners' day-to-day requirements."

Monjasa sold a total of 1.75 million mt of bunker fuel in the Middle East and Africa in 2022. The company listed Lome as its fifth-largest supply location by volume for the year.