WTI oil dropped to $23.63 per barrel, down 9.4%. In the United States, crude oil production would cut by 470,000 barrels per day (BPD), and demand would plummet by about 1.3 million BPD by 2020. The Brent barrel of oil fell by 3.6% to $31.87 for delivery in June.
After suffering a 55% loss in March, this Thursday the price of the US WTI barrel rose 24.7% to $25.32, while London Brent climbed 21% to $29.94; after Donald Trump announced a possible agreement between Saudi Arabia and Russia, which would end the price war.
According to the latest report from the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange, the soybean harvest could be under 130 million tons. Between 12% and 15% less than last year. The entity’s data includes falls of 50 million tons of corn, 3.4 million tons of sunflower and 2.5 million tons of sorghum.
Argentina has postponed or canceled two of its biggest energy infrastructure projects as policymakers debate measures to protect the country’s oil industry. The tender to build the central gas transport system, a gas pipeline meant to boost capacity from the Vaca Muerta unconventional formation, has been postponed for a third time. Concurrently, the tender to build the Río Diamante-Charlone transmission line, a US$560mn project, was cancelled.
Manufacturers and sellers of new cars are facing a reality that is too changeable. With the volume of operations already reduced to 460,000 units in 2019, the data for the first months of 2020 projected a drop to 360,000 vehicles. As the pandemic begins to set the economic pace and these estimates become outdated, the outlook drops to 200,000 cars this year. In March, half of the month with only 17,000 units sold and little will be concrete -on line- while mobility restrictions continue.
The national government will launch measures to alleviate the effects of the coronavirus in the hydrocarbon sector. It would not extend any more the increase of the Liquid Fuels Tax (ICL) and the Carbon Dioxide Tax (IDC), next Wednesday the taxes will raise about 3 pesos per litre. Hydrocarbon-producing provinces demand a $54 barrel from the government, distribution companies demand value of $30, and the government negotiates to reach a break-even point. There is an excess of 200,000 barrels of oil per day. Brent oil, the reference for Argentina, fell on Friday to $26 on average.
The U.S. benchmark price WTI fell 7.7% to $22.6 per barrel, while in London Brent lost 3.8% to $26.34 per barrel. The cost of crude oil fell sharply again on Thursday in New York after three consecutive days of rising, as U.S. unemployment data presaged a sharp drop in demand.
After the mandatory quarantine, ordered by the government last Friday, the demand for fuel plummeted by up to 85% over the weekend. Oil production is down somewhat, between 15% and 20%, compared to the days before the measures; although drilling and completion of wells stopped, they are in a safe condition. Revenues are going to be negatively affected.
The real estate market in the province of Buenos Aires registered a 27.4% year-on-year decline in February. In the second month of the year, 3,182 titles registered. The total amount of real estate transactions was 8,198 million pesos ($128.7 bn). Concerning total amounts, there was a 19.3% decrease compared to the same month in 2019.
Orocobre is halting operations at its Argentine operations as the country grapples with COVID-19. The government of Argentina enacted the Decree of Necessity and Urgency (DNU) #297/20 on March 19, 2020 requiring a national mandatory quarantine including prohibition of circulation of citizens and movement of personnel and supplies within the country. Consequently, the Olaroz Lithium Facility (Olaroz) has moved operations to care and maintenance, and currently holds sufficient stock to meet customer orders until the end of April.