KUWAIT: The price of Kuwaiti crude oil dropped 27 cents to $31.89 per barrel Tuesday against $32.16 pb Monday, Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) said yesterday. In global markets, crude oil price dropped below $30 pb Tuesday amid economic growth stagnation and falling demand for the oil due to a market glut and ongoing jitters worldwide, caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Energy demand drastically dropped after many states took stringent measures to try stem spread of the virus that has taken 7,500 lives.

Countries closed border checkpoints, ports and airports and advised citizens to restrict movement locally and across borders except for vital necessities. Meanwhile, forward contracts of the Brent crude decreased $1.32 settling at $28.73 pb. It was the first time that the crude benchmark closed lower than $30 pb since 2016.American West Texas Intermediate crude fell $1.75 to $26.95 pb. Saudi Energy Ministry announced on Tuesday that the kingdom exports of the crude oil would increase to more than 10 million barrels per day.

The OPEC daily basket price went down 27 cents a barrel on Tuesday to settle at $30.36 pb, compared with $30.63 pb the day before, the organization said yesterday. The annual average of the OPEC basket price hit $52.43 pb last year, it said in its daily bulletin.

The OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes (ORB) is made up of Saharan Blend (Algeria), Girassol (Angola), Djeno (Congo), Oriente (Ecuador), Zafiro (Equatorial Guinea), Rabi Light (Gabon), Iran Heavy (Islamic Republic of Iran), Basra Light (Iraq), Kuwait Export (Kuwait), Es Sider (Libya), Bonny Light (Nigeria), Arab Light (Saudi Arabia), Murban (UAE) and Merey (Venezuela). – KUNA