Oil prices have dropped by more than 20 percent since the start of this year and are retesting lows not seen since December 2018. Crude sunk to new contract lows in February, reaching beyond one-year lows on concerns of slower global economic growth, pressured by the spread of coronavirus.
Saudi Arabia has led recent efforts within OPEC to curtail production, seeking to stabilize oil prices, but these efforts have been rejected by Russia. OPEC members would like to cap daily output in response to weaker demand after the extended New Year holiday in China, where many factories and businesses have remained closed.
The OPEC meeting in the first week of February failed to reach a consensus, and as cases of coronavirus continued to grow, oil prices retreated to the $50 per barrel level. For now, energy is by far the worst performing sector in 2020.