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Taiwan's CPC halts bunker operations at Suao, Hualien on Typhoon Maria

Singapore — Taiwan's state-owned refiner CPC issued an alert Tuesday morning saying it has stopped bunker operations at the port of Suao and Hualien, due to the approach of Typhoon Maria.

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The suspension of bunker operations at Suao and Hualien, located on the northeast coast of Taiwan, is unlikely to have any major effect on the local bunker market, traders said.

Bunkering activity is usually busier at Taiwan's other ports of Kaohsiung, Keelung and Taichung.

However, CPC said that while port operations remain as per normal at Kaohsiung, Keelung and Taichung, it may be hampered by Typhoon Maria later Tuesday.

In its latest update at 0300 GMT Tuesday, Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau said on its website that Typhoon Maria was moving in a west-northwesterly direction at 32 kph, with a maximum wind speed of 53 m/s and wind gusts of 65 m/s.

Typhoon Maria could bring strong winds and heavy rains to northern and central Taiwan in the coming days, the Central Weather Bureau said. It is currently unclear whether the storm will make direct landfall in Taiwan, Central Weather Bureau added.

China-based bunker fuel sources said that ports located along the east coast of China, such as Shanghai and Ningbo-Zhoushan, will halt bunkering operations due to Typhoon Maria.

At the Asian close Monday, 380 CST bunker fuel for delivery at Shanghai was assessed at $481/mt, up $3.50/mt from Friday.

Bunker fuel prices at Taiwan's port of Suao and Hualien are based on CPC's listed prices, with spot 380 CST bunker fuel price listed at $515/mt at both ports on the company's website Tuesday.

--Teo Su Ling,

--Edited by Norazlina Juma'at,