Yesterday, governor Tom Wolf made an announcement to order all non-life-sustaining businesses in Pennsylvania to close physical locations to slow down the spread of COVID-19. The deadline for these businesses to close was 8:00 p.m. on 3/19/2020.
Over the weekend, Italy announced that they were planning to quarantine the northern region of Lombardy as they fought to contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The government put measures in place, such as fines, to prevent people from entering and leaving the region until at least April 3rd. They also imposed a decree that banned all forms of public gatherings and events, such as, closing pubs, clubs, gyms, and urged residents to remain in their homes.
As we enter the end of our winter season in the Northeast, the mild winter combined with global oversupply fears has caused liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices to plummet and the worst may not be over.
On the morning of Monday, January 6, 2020, WTI crude oil was nearing $64/bbl. As of 10:31 a.m. EST on Thursday, February 27, 2020, WTI crude oil was trading at $46.36/bbl. The shocking effects of the coronavirus fear continue to decimate global markets, particularly oil markets. Fortune.com aptly points out that the coronavirus has done to the oil industry what the U.S. and China trade war, strikes on Saudi oilfields, Libyan supply outages, and a near war between the U.S. and Iran-could not. The virus has thrown traders and analysts into complete turmoil.
The sharp decline in oil demand from China due to the coronavirus is causing oil cargoes to be stranded off the country’s coast and across Asia. Last week, OPEC lowered its forecast for global oil demand by nearly a quarter million barrels per day as the pandemic of the coronavirus has crippled fuel consumption in China. Demand from China, the world’s largest importer of oil, has dropped by three million barrels per day which is twenty percent of Chinese consumption.