After skyrocketing to new highs at the beginning of October, international crude oil futures have fallen 21 percent since. On Friday, it continues its fall as concerns over rising supply and slowing economic growth remain. This would be the fifth straight week of decline if the benchmarks close lower again, marking its longest-ever losing streak.
The two important global benchmarks of the oil market- US West Texas Intermediate and Brent have both declined by over 20 percent from its 4-year highs at the start of October. It is also in the same week that petrol and diesel prices in India hit all-time highs. The decline is due to an increase in supply from the US and the OPEC (Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries).
While US crude continues to accelerate production, the OPEC output is at its highest level in years. The increase in production was sought earlier to compensate for any deficit that would be caused after the US sanctions kick-in on 4 November. While the leading oil producer Saudi Arabia increased its output as promised, the US government allowed waivers on its sanctions on Iran for some of the exporter's biggest customers, including India. Though the Iranian exports have declined, countries still have excess stock available.
Traders are also concerned about the slowing down of emerging economies after the US-China war, dampening the demand for fuel. A Reuters report earlier this week suggested that the OPEC may consider cutting its production at its meeting in Abu Dhabi, scheduled for this Sunday.