Prices declined the most last week since March as a resurgence of Covid-19 threatened the outlook for near-term global fuel consumption. Futures in New York settled at $71.81, 3.7% lower for the week. Brent ended the week at $73.59, down about 2.6% for the week. Despite the pullback, crude has surged nearly 13% over the last three months as a global vaccine rollout helps restore economic activity. Moreover, forecasters ranging from the International Energy Agency to Citigroup predict that the market will get tighter in the coming months.
Prices fell last week for the first time since May after days of volatile trading in the wake of OPEC+’s stalemate over a production increase. Futures in New York declined 0.8%, although the US crude benchmark closed higher on Friday amid a broader market rebound. Prices whipsawed during the week amid ambiguity over the future of the OPEC+ alliance and swings in the US dollar. However, Brent prices remained about $3 a barrel below Monday’s close, as traders remained worried that global crude supplies might swell following the collapse of OPEC+ negotiations.
Futures posted their sixth straight weekly gain, the longest winning streak since December, as the standoff between OPEC+ ministers over output dragged on. New York prices rose 1.7% last week, closing at $75.16, with London closing at $76.17. Most members of the OPEC alliance backed a proposal to increase supply and extend the deal into later next year, but the United Arab Emirates remains opposed.