Oil Prices Fall Below Zero for First Time in History


NEW YORK: Oil continued its unprecedented sell-off as the prices fell below zero for the first time in history. Demand for oil has crumbled due to the coronavirus crisis, thrusting markets into a parallel universe where traders were willing to pay US$40 a barrel just to get somebody to take crude off their hands. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures have been the benchmark for America’s oil industry for decades, seeing the market through booms, busts, wars and financial crises, but no single event holds a candle to this. By the end of trading on Monday, the WTI contract for delivery in May had crashed 300 per cent from US$17.85 a barrel to minus US$37.63. “Today was a devastating day for the global oil industry,” said Mr Doug King, a hedge fund investor who co-founded the Merchant Commodity Fund. “US storage is full or committed and some unfortunate market participants were carried out.”