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10-10-2016

U.S. East Coast Bunker Operations Brace for Hurricane Matthew

According to the National Hurricane Center, the storm is expected to arrive in the region by late Friday or early Saturday.

Bunker operations at U.S. East Coast ports, including Savannah, Georgia, and Charleston, South Carolina, Thursday were bracing for the arrival of Hurricane Matthew, Platts reports.

According to the National Hurricane Center, the storm is expected to arrive in the region by late Friday or early Saturday.

"Nothing has closed yet as far as I know; we've heard that some ships coming up [to Savannah and Charleston] from the south are speeding up to get into port to fuel up and leave before anything gets closed, and we have some deliveries scheduled for the 10th, which will probably get delayed because of a backlog," explained one source, said to have extensive knowledge of the regional bunker market.

The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) is reported to have closed the port of Jacksonville, Florida to incoming vessels, along with all associated bunkering operations, late Tuesday.

A Condition X-ray warning has been issued by USCG for Savannah, while a Condition Whiskey has been issued for Charleston and Wilmington, warning of gale force winds within 48 hours and requiring transfer operations to cease upon the arrival of sustained winds of 40 mph.

"We're operating as normal here," said another source of bunkering at Savannah and Charleston.

"Markets are basically unchanged from yesterday; some of the local vessels are topping-up on fuel, but I haven't heard of any ships diverting or anything like that."

In early September, Ship & Bunker reported that Hurricane Hermine had limited bunker market activity, halting port operations, either fully or partially, at a number of U.S. East Coast ports.


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