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US oil down more than 9% in Asian trade

Prices have collapsed in recent weeks as demand for the commodity evaporated owing to lockdowns and travel restrictions imposed worldwide to fight the virus.

Agence France-Presse

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US oil prices fell heavily Monday on renewed concerns over storage capacity as the coronavirus throttles demand, even as producers start slashing output to boost markets.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate was down 9.3 percent at $15.36 a barrel in Asian morning trade. Brent crude, the international benchmark, was off 3.2 percent at $20.75 a barrel.

Brent crude, the international benchmark, was off 3.2 percent at $20.75 a barrel.

Prices have collapsed in recent weeks as demand for the commodity evaporated owing to lockdowns and travel restrictions imposed worldwide to fight the virus. 

Last week, US oil fell below zero for the first time as investors scrambled to offload it before the expiry of a trading contract, but could not readily find buyers.

Prices have recovered since, but remain at their lowest levels for years.

A key worry for traders is that storage facilities — particularly in the United States — cannot cope with the oversupply.

“Concerns surrounding rising global inventories, especially in the US with the coronavirus pandemic weighing on gasoline consumption, are pressuring oil prices,” Kim Kwangrae, commodities analyst at Samsung Futures Inc, told Bloomberg News.

The continued concerns about storage overshadowed signs that some countries — including Kuwait and Algeria — are starting to slash production in line with a major agreement hammered out this month.

Top producers have agreed to reduce output by 10 million barrels a day from May to shore up markets, a deal that marked an end to a price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia.

Analysts said that positive signs in the virus fight, with Italy and New York laying out partial reopening plans and death rates slowing in hard-hit countries, kept prices from falling too heavily. 

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commodities

Gold rush hits Thailand as prices surge

The value of gold has rocketed by Bt7,000 per baht weight since the beginning of this year, generating returns of over 20 per cent.

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Photo : Adam Jones

People flocked to sell their gold at China town. The Gold Traders Association announced the buying and selling prices of gold has increased by 50 baht to a historic high.

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commodities

Thailand’s rice exports slump to decade low

Thailand could drop to the world’s third largest rice exporter, after Vietnam and India, as Thai rice exports slump to a decade low of 6.5 million tonnes.

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The strong baht makes it harder for Thai exporters to compete with other top producers like Vietnam and India.

The Thai Rice Exporters Association cut its projection for 2020 rice exports from 7.5 million tonnes to 6.5 million tonnes, the lowest in a decade.

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commodities

Thai Rice Export Expected to Drop to 7.5m tons this year

This year’s projection for rice exports remains close to the previous year at 7.5 million tons, the lowest in seven years since 2013 when Thailand exported 6.6 million tonnes of rice.

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Thailand risks losing its place as the world’s second biggest rice exporter this year thanks to weaker competitiveness and a lack of new rice varieties to cater to changing market demand.

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