Oil plunges in Asia as producers start price war

An oil rig in the Atlantic.

Oil prices crashed in Asia on Monday by more than 20% in what analysts are calling the start of a price war.

Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia slashed its oil prices at the weekend after it failed to convince Russia on Friday to back sharp production cuts.

Oil cartel Opec and its ally Russia had previously worked together on production curbs.

The benchmark Brent oil futures plunged to a low of $35.84 a barrel on Monday, in volatile energy markets.

Oil prices have now fallen 30% since Friday, when Opec’s 14 members led by Saudi Arabia met with its allies Russia and other non-Opec members.

They met to discuss how to respond to falling demand caused by the growing spread of the coronavirus.

But the two sides failed to agree on measures to cut production by as much as 1.5 million barrels a day.

That initially saw Brent drop below $50 a barrel on Friday with the downward trend carrying over to Asia on Monday. The region is home to some major importers including China, Japan, South Korea and India.

Source: BBC News