The coronavirus outbreak has sent U.S. oil prices tumbling to their lowest level for two decades. With much of the world on lockdown, fleets of airliners have been grounded while cars are parked up, resulting in a lack of demand. That has in turn led to a glut of oil that's clogging up storage facilities, further impacting the price. As European markets opened on Monday, the price of West Texas Intermediate, a major U.S. oil benchmark, was down nearly 18 percent at $14.99 per barrel.
The price was even lower in Asian trading at $14.49 per barrel with losses exacerbated due to the pending expiration of the May futures contract which is set to occur tomorrow. Due to the current storage problems, OPEC member states and allies agreed to cut production by an unprecedented 10 percent earlier this month, the largest slash to oil output ever agreed.