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Covid-19 continues to drag oil prices down

Mar 18. 2020
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By The Nation

Oil prices hit a four-year low following the Covid-19 outbreak, which is hammering the global economy, an energy analyst at Thai Oil said on Wednesday (March 18).

Brent oil price dropped below US$30 per barrel for the first time since 2016 due to uncertainty following the decline in oil demand as many governments worldwide announced suspension of activities and travels to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Crude oil price remains under pressure due to the price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia. Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister revealed that the country’s crude oil exports in April this year was expected to be more than 10 million barrels per day.

The US Department of Energy is preparing to purchase crude oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) within two weeks to help oil companies affected by the decline in crude oil price.

Benzene fuel prices dropped more than those of Dubai crude oil since demand for benzene fuel has decreased after many countries announced lockdown of their cities due to the Covid-19 outbreak. However, benzene fuel prices still gained support from a Japanese oil refinery being closed for maintenance.

Diesel fuel prices dropped lower than those of Dubai crude oil due to a Kenyan move to import diesel fuel. However, the amount of diesel fuel in the market is still at a high level, according to experts.

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