Oil price turmoil reveals depths of economic pain

FINANCIAL TIMES 🔒| The coronavirus pandemic is hurting the world economy in some extreme ways. One of the most extreme is the distortion affecting the US market for oil. On Monday the price of American crude fell below zero for the first time in history. The reason for the one-day collapse was in part technical; amid a plunge in demand, an important one-month futures contract expired the following day. With storage running low, traders holding the derivative contract found themselves with nowhere to put the oil. The owners of supertankers are among the surprise winners of the crisis — day rates to hire the vessels and their oil tanks have jumped fivefold.


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