- WTI has been under heavy selling pressure in recent trading and is now under $ 70.00.
- That marks a drop of more than 11% on the day, its worst session since last year’s negative prices.
WTI futures for the first month they have been absolutely beaten in recent trading and have now fallen below $ 70.00. That marks an $ 8.50 drop (over 11%) on the day, its worst day since the first month’s WTI futures contract plunged deep into negative territory in April 2020.
The oil market implosion comes on a day when countries around the world have been implementing (or are considering implementing soon) travel restrictions to countries where cases of the highly worrisome new South African variant Covid-19 have been detected. As the new variant spreads, which is expected to happen in the coming weeks, it seems highly likely that more travel restrictions will be imposed. All of this could be catastrophic for demand for jet fuel, a key component of global crude oil consumption.
The latest developments in the oil markets have not gone unnoticed by OPEC +. According to sources cited by Reuters, the cartel is monitoring developments around the new variant of Covid-19 and some members express concern that it could worsen the outlook for oil markets. The group meets next week to decide on oil production policy and there is already speculation that they could implement further production cuts. The group was already rumored to be considering stopping its recent streak of consecutive 400,000 barrels per day monthly increases in production in response to the decision by the United States and other nations to release oil reserves.