Shafaq News/ Oil prices fell to their lowest levels in more than a year with the decline in demand for crude in China amid the outbreak of the Corona virus, which also sparked possible cuts in supplies from OPEC and its allies.
Brent crude contracts ended the trading session as low as $ 2.17, or 3.83 percent, to settle at $ 54.45 a barrel, its lowest level since January of last year.
US West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures fell $ 1.45, or 2.8 percent, to settle at the settlement of $ 50.12 a barrel after tumbling during the session to $ 49.91, its lowest level since January 2019.
"We have not seen a destruction of demand so quickly and so quickly," said Phil Flynn, an analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.
Supply chains were disrupted in China, the world's second largest economy and the largest importer of crude in the world, prompting the country's largest oil refiner to cut production by about 12 percent this month.
There is evidence that fuel demand in China is falling as airlines cancel flights to stop the virus from spreading and provinces to reopen factories after the lunar New Year holiday.
OPEC and its allies may submit the date of the March-February meeting to discuss the effects of the virus outbreak on demand. OPEC + sources said that the joint technical committee is scheduled to hold a meeting to assess the impact of the virus this week.
Sources told Reuters that OPEC and its allies in the OPEC + group are studying an additional cut of 500,000 bpd for their oil production.