US crude oil falls to $14 as coronavirus hits demand

US crude oil falls to $14 as coronavirus hits demand
Coronavirus has hit oil demand, while an price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia saw supplies reach a crescendo.
2 min read
20 April, 2020
Oil prices have continued to dive despite an agreement between Saudi and Russia [Getty]
US crude oil crashed below the $15 a barrel mark overnight Sunday, as the coronavirus pandemic and oversupply hit prices.

WTI crude slumped by 21 percent with prices on Sunday evening reaching their lowest in 21-years at $14.47 a barrel as cheap oil continues to flood the market.

Brent crude meanwhile dipped 4.2 percent to $26.91 per barrel, bringing further concerns in the US about the future of the domestic oil industry.

WTI trades at a reduced rate for long-term customers with the futures contracts for May set to expire on Tuesday, one of the factors behind the massive dip in prices, oil experts say.

"There will be traders in the market who only want to trade the paper, so they will roll over into the next futures contract. That means selling the May contract and buying the June," ANZ's Daniel Hynes told CNBC.

"But there are also traders who are buying for clients who trade the physical. So they hold the contract to expiry and deliver the crude."

The dip comes despite a massive cut in output by OPEC and other major producers in a bid to rescue crashing prices.

Production cuts has been off-set by a huge drop in demand due to lockdowns imposed on over half the world's population due to the coronavirus epidemic.

The price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia also so the market flooded with cheap oil and storage at capacity.

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