The week saw heavy sales over the course of four days as a growing pandemic discouraged people from driving and booking flights. Major forecasters such as oil giant Vitol and energy research firm IHS Market said demand for crude could fall by as much as 10 percent. Oil prices rose strongly on Thursday after selling for days, but the rally did not last.
American crude prices incurred a weekly loss of 29 percent, the most severe since the outbreak of the Gulf War between the United States and Iraq in 1991. Brent crude fell 20 percent. Both measurements fell for four consecutive weeks.
“As the economy continues to slow down almost to a halt, it is clear that demand crunch will grow. Whatever efforts to reduce production in the United States and capital spending, it is not sufficient at this time,” said John Kildov, partner at Again Capital Management in New York.
Brent crude futures fell $ 1.49, or 5.2 percent, to settle the settlement price at $ 26.98 a barrel. And US crude contracts for April delivery fell 2.69 dollars, or 10.7 percent, to close at 22.53 dollars a barrel. The contract term closest due today. The most active US crude contract for May delivery closed at $ 3.28, or 12.7 percent, at $ 22.63.
American crude lost half its value in the past two weeks, and Brent fell about 40 percent, with demand shrinking due to the pandemic in conjunction with the collapse of coordinated production cuts between the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies including Russia.