Gibraltar Strait. File image/Pixabay.
Pressure on barge turnarounds in Gibraltar is contributing to local bunker market congestion, market sources say.
Demand for low sulfur fuel oil that meets the IMO2020 sulfur rule is the ultimate reason for ships queuing to load bunkers at the port.
"Ships have been queuing [n the port] for the best part of two months," a source told Ship & Bunker. It's the pressure on barge time that's causing the pinch point, the source added.
With some ships stemming high sulfur bunkers and distillates and with demand for very low sulfur fuel oil climbing in the run up to the IMO rule change, longer turnarounds for bunker barges have become a feature at key bunkering hubs.
Low sulfur bunker prices at the west Mediterranean port have been edging up. Very low sulfur fuel oil values at Gibraltar jumped $21 a metric tonne yesterday, according to Ship & Bunker pricing data.