The price of a barrel of oil quoted in New York, weighed down by worries about global growth and therefore the demand for energy, ended on Monday under the symbolic threshold of 50 dollars for the first time since October 2017.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex), the barrel of WTI for delivery in January, the reference in the United States, lost $ 1.32 or 2.6% to end at $ 49.88.
He had already dropped below the $ 50 mark at the end of November, but had then recovered to finish just above.
Brent crude oil from the North Sea for delivery in February lost 67 cents or 1.1% to close at $ 59.61 on the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) in London.
Oil prices, which rose slightly earlier in the day, “began to fall after the opening in the red of Wall Street,” said Matt Smith, ClipperData.
“In an already fragile market, any sign of a slowdown in growth in the coming months weighs on the outlook for gross demand,” he said.
Investors fear in particular the effects of the trade war between China and the United States and were particularly struck Friday by the slowdown in retail sales and industrial production in November in China.
At the same time, “market players are wondering if the production cuts announced by OPEC are really enough to stop the fall in prices,” said Gene McGillian, of Tradition Energy, recalling that the barrels of Brent and WTI have already lost more than 30% of their value in two months.
Faced with this fall in prices, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed in early December with its partners, including Russia, to reduce its production by about 1.2 million barrels per day from January.
But in addition to questions about OPEC’s ability to enforce this commitment, the cartel is facing the rise of black gold extractions in the United States to a record high.
“The rise in US shale oil production and the potential decline in (global) fuel demand have had a significant impact on market confidence, despite the efforts of OPEC and its partners to rebalance the prices of oil. black gold, summarized Benjamin Lu, analyst for Phillip Futures.