Tokyo: Losing more than a quarter of their value, oil prices were set on monday for their biggest daily rout since the first Gulf War, after Saudi Arabia cut its official prices in a market already reeling from the impact of the coronavirus on global demand.
Saudi Arabia slashed its official selling prices and made plans to ramp up crude output next month after Russia balked at making a further steep output cut proposed by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to stabilize oil markets.
Meanwhile, China’s efforts to curtail the coronavirus outbreak has disrupted the world’s second-largest economy and curtailed shipments to the biggest oil importer.
And the spread of the virus to other major economies such as Italy and South Korea and the growing number of cases in the United States have increased concerns that oil demand will slump this year.
Goldman Sachs and other major banks such as Morgan Stanley have cut their demand growth forecasts, with Morgan Stanley predicting China will have zero demand growth in 2020. Goldman sees a contraction of 150,000 bpd in global demand.