WTI Crude Oil Starts the Week Bearish as Coronavirus Crisis Escalates
Arslan Butt • 1 min read
After ending the previous week on a bearish note, WTI crude oil futures continue to decline as a fresh trading week begins over mounting fears about the escalating coronavirus crisis even as the Saudi Arabia-Russia price war shows no signs of abating. At the time of writing, WTI crude oil is trading at around $20.44 per barrel.
Crude oil prices have weakened considerably as global oil demand falls due to the lockdown measures and travel restrictions that several countries worldwide have imposed in an effort to contain the spread of infections. Despite these efforts, the crisis continues to worsen with the number of cases and the death toll continuing to climb higher.
The worsening pandemic is reinforcing fears of an impending recession in the global economy, which could keep crude oil prices under pressure for some time to come, even after the coronavirus is brought under control. In addition, oil prices have been falling in anticipation of Saudi Arabia’s plans to boost crude production and cut official selling prices to flood markets with cheaper oil even as demand continues to weaken.
Analysts anticipate global oil demand to decline by around 20% from last year’s levels, falling by as much as 15-20 million bpd. While this should ideally cause leading oil producers to implement supply cuts to balance the markets, Saudi Arabia’s move will drive oversupply instead and weaken prices further.