Oil prices collapsed on March 8, 2020, after Saudi Arabia announced a material increase in production to defend its market share.
Prices had already plunged to $45 per barrel on March 6, as Russia broke ranks with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies (OPEC+), following differences over a cut in production during their meeting in Vienna.
That triggered Saudi Arabia – OPEC’s largest oil producer - to announce a price war by offering enormous discounts of $6-8 per barrel on its April selling price. Not surprisingly, crude prices nosedived, with Brent losing as much as ~30% to $31 per barrel on March 9.
The roil comes at a time the Covid-19 pandemic has renewed worries of a fresh decline, in an already sagging market because of the global economic slowdown.