Never Seen in a history: WTI Crude May future prices, in an unprecedented meltdown, settled in negative at -$37 per barrel.
It is tough to ignore the historic numbers flashing across the screen. WTI Crude May future prices went negative because its main delivery point Cushing Oklahoma is so overwhelmed, having scarcity of storing oil due to unprecedented oversupply of crude left by the coronavirus crisis.
With storage facilities filling up fast, particularly at the WTI pricing point, Cushing, there are fears that there will be nowhere to store it.
WTI May contract, which expires this week, also collapsed as traders abandoning the May contract, and moving on to June and, nobody wants physical delivery of WTI for May and with storage options dwindling, traders liquidated their positions, selling contracts at crazy discounts. Unable to actually accept physical delivery, traders ended up paying someone to take oil off of their hands.
WTI Nymex June future price, which is the default oil price, is also falling due to the economic shutdown caused by the coronavirus, but has managed to remain above $20 a barrel.
Recently, a record 160m barrels of oil was stored in supergiant oil tankers outside the world’s largest shipping ports, including the US Gulf, following the deepest fall in the oil demand in 25-Year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The last time floating storage reached levels close to this was in the depths of the financial crisis in 2009, when traders stored more than 100m barrels at sea.
Brent, on the other hand, has multiple storage points, has shown somewhat stable move recently despite WTI oil carnage and managed to Ping-Pong around $25 a barrel.