Long Beach, Los Angeles. File image/Pixabay.
Bottlenecks will appear "sporadically" as ports make the transition from main grade 3.5% sulfur bunker fuel to 0.5%, a senior bunker industry executive has said.
Carlos Torres, who is head of physical supply at the Bunker Holding Group, told maritime news provider Lloyd's List that "sporadic bottlenecks" will be at their sharpest in December.
"The availability of products is going to be sporadic and the bottlenecks will be at different points of time. That is going to be less and less as we get into January and February," he was quoted as saying.
Singapore and the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp markets have already "fully transitioned", the executive said.
Shortages of high-sulphur fuel oil have emerged in smaller ports, according to the report, with Brazil's Santos and Long Beach on the US West Coast mentioned.
According to Ship & Bunker, the main bunker fuel grade of 380 centistokes fuel oil is currently around $200 per metic tonne higher in Santos and Long Beach over Singapore values for the same product.