U.S. crude futures plunge over 40% to 1986 low 

#GS3 #Economy 

Supply-demand imbalance hits prices 

  • Oil prices tumbled, with the U.S. crude futures contract plunging more than 40% to its lowest level since 1986, as investors worried about lack of storage and German and Japanese data indicated a bleak global economy. 
  • Brent was down $1.56, or 5.6%, to $26.52 a barrel by 8.50 p.m. (IST) while the front-month May WTI contract fell $8.16, or 44.7%, to $10.11 a barrel. 
  • Prices have been pressured for weeks since with the COVID-19 outbreak, hammering demand even as Saudi Arabia and Russia failed to reach an agreement to cut supply.  
  • The two sides, with U.S. urging, agreed more than a week ago to cut supply by 9.7 million bpd, but that will not quickly reduce the global glut. 
  • Brent oil prices have collapsed around 60% since the start of the year, while U.S. crude futures have fallen more than 80%, to levels well below break-even costs necessary for many shale drillers. 
  • U.S. crude futures hit a low of $10.01 a barrel, the lowest since 1986. Analysts said the sell-off was exaggerated by the contract's imminent expiry. 


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