Moneycontrol
Last Updated : Apr 21, 2020 12:29 AM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

WTI May crude futures crashes over 300% to -$36.90 a barrel on scant storage, weak demand

Physical demand for crude has dried up, creating a global supply glut as billions of people stay home to contain the spread of COVID-19.

US crude futures plunged more than 300 percent on April 20 to the lowest price on record as storage space for US crude was filling up, discouraging buyers even as weak economic data from Germany and Japan cast doubt on when fuel consumption will recover.

Physical demand for crude has dried up, creating a global supply glut as billions of people stay home to contain the spread of COVID-19.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude contract for May fell 301.97 percent to -$36.90 per barrel in New York. The May contract is set to expire on April 21. The June contract was trading down 16.74 percent to $20.84 per barrel.

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The May contract traded in the range of -$36.90 per barrel at the lower end and $17.85 at the upper end during the day.

“NYMEX crude May contract has slipped below $11/bbl for the first time since March 1999. June contract is down 7 percent near $23/bbl and is still holding above the lows set earlier in the day. The sell-off in near month contract is largely because of position squaring ahead of expiry .There are huge stocks in US storage and this has pressurised near month prices,” said Ravindra Rao, VP- Head of Commodity Research at Kotak Securities.

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The International Energy Agency in its monthly report said April demand may be down by 29 million barrels per day from the same period last year, the level last seen in 1995.

On April 19, China reported that GDP shrunk by 6.8 percent, the worst since 1976 as the country took extreme measures to contain the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19.

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In the domestic market, MCX crude oil delivery for April closed at Rs 965 per barrel down Rs 471, or 32.8 percent. The same for May delivery slipped Rs 259, or 12.86 percent, to Rs 1,755 per barrel.

Brent Crude, London based international benchmark for June contract, declined 6.66 percent to $26.21 per barrel at 17:39 pm (GMT).
First Published on Apr 20, 2020 06:50 pm
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