Oil Prices Plunge as Price Predictions Vary

Oil prices fell to their lowest level in two months yesterday on demand concerns

Oil prices plummeted yesterday in their biggest daily drop since March, reflecting concerns about a potential global recession and lockdowns in China that could slash demand. Light sweet crude closed below $100 per barrel for the first time in two months. Citi analysts believe prices could go a lot lower.

In a note to clients, Citi analysts said oil prices could crash to $65 per barrel by the end of this year, and $45 by the end of next year if an “increasingly likely” recession hits the global economy, cooling demand for oil. The analysts put a 10% probability on this outcome.

The bank’s base case — which it says has a 50% probability of happening — is that Brent crude will fall to $85 per barrel by year’s end, down around 24% from yesterday’s opening price of $112 per barrel.

The forecasts for oil prices have wide variations. Over the weekend, JPMorgan said that plans to cap Russia oil prices floated by the G7 last week could cause Russia to slash its production sharply. That could drive prices as high as $280 a barrel in the bank’s worst case scenario.

"Futures traders are still pricing crude oil above $90 per barrel through November, according to the CME. This contango likely won't last long as recession fears grow and spot prices tumble," said Caleb Silver, Editor-in-Chief of Investopedia.

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