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Congestion in Malta, Piraeus eases after spell of bad weather: sources

Congestion at the Mediterranean ports of Malta and Piraeus has begun to ease after bad weather caused disruption to the delivery schedule over the weekend, sources said Tuesday.

Bad weather can affect bunkering operations in a number of ways. Bunker barges are often unable to pull up alongside a vessel in order to perform the bunker delivery during strong winds and bad weather in general can result in vessels arriving late for their bunker delivery slot and therefore causing last minute changes and delays to the barge schedule.
In Malta, no bunker deliveries were performed over the weekend as a result of the bad weather and this congestion spilled into Monday, a buyer at the port said. A local physical supplier at the port confirmed the congestion Monday, adding however that the weather was improving so the situation should smooth out over the next couple of days.

The physical supplier said Tuesday morning that the “weather has improved, therefore there are no delays expected in the port.”

Also over the weekend, weather affected the Greek port of Piraeus. Some vessels were delayed arriving at the port, and the strong winds caused high swells which meant the barges had difficulty arriving alongside the vessels and weren’t able to perform all the bunker deliveries on their schedule, a trader said.

The trader added Tuesday morning the weather was good and the congestion better. Demand levels at the port were medium, the trader said.

Local physical suppliers at the nearby port of Istanbul highlighted at the start of the week that due to the port’s more sheltered nature, they had not had any issues with the strong winds and therefore there was no congestion at the Turkish port.

Demand at the Turkish port was average Tuesday, sources said.

Delivered 380 CST bunker prices at the ports of Malta, Piraeus, and Istanbul were indicated as high as $492/mt, $488/mt, and $520/mt respectively Tuesday morning, up $8/mt, $6/mt, and $12/mt compared with Monday’s assessment levels.

Source: Platts

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