Oil plummeted by about $10 a barrel on Tuesday on concerns of a looming global recession curtailing demand, even with expected supply disruptions as oil and gas workers in Norway began to strike.
Global benchmark Brent crude was down $10.77, or 9.5%, at $102.73 a barrel by 11:43 am EDT. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell $9.30, or 8.6%, to $99.13 a barrel from Friday’s close. There was no WTI settlement on Monday because of a US holiday.
“The market is getting tight, but still we’re getting creamed and the only way you can explain that away is fear of recession in every risk asset,” said Robert Yawger, director, energy futures at Mizuho, New York. “You’re feeling the pressure.”
Oil futures sank along with equities, which often serve as demand indicator for crude, as investors fretted about the possibility of an economic downturn as central banks across the world take aggressive actions to limit inflation.
The Citigroup Inc has warned that crude oil could collapse to $65 a barrel by the end of the current year and to $45 by end-2023 if a demand-crippling recession hits the market. That outlook is based on an absence of any intervention by OPEC+ producers and a decline in oil investments, analysts including Francesco Martoccia and Ed Morse said in a report. Brent, the global crude benchmark, last traded near $113 a barrel.
Oil has soared this year following the invasion of Ukraine, and banks are now trying to chart its course into 2023 as central banks raise interest rates and recessionary risks mount. Citi’s outlook compared the current energy market with crises of the 1970s. At present, the bank’s economists do not expect the US to dip into recession.
“For oil, the historical evidence suggests that oil demand goes negative only in the worst global recessions,” the Citi analysts said in the July 5 note. “But oil prices fall in all recessions to roughly the marginal cost.”
It made this prediction after comparing the current energy market with the crises of the 1970s. The Citigroup warning is contradictory to a recent prediction from the JPMorgan. Analysts from the institution, including Natasha Kaneva, warned that global oil prices would hit $380 a barrel if US and European penalties compel Russia to inflict retaliatory crude output cuts.