On Friday 15th May 2020, EuroCham held the latest in its series of online events to keep members updated with recent developments in the local and international trade and investment environment. This week, EuroCham Vice-Chairman Ywert Visser hosted a special webinar on “The Great Plunge in Oil Price: Causes, Consequences and Policy Response” with guest speaker Michael Kokalari, Chief Economist at Vina Capital.
One of the biggest implications of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the lockdown and social isolation measures introduced to prevent the spread of the virus. This has hit economic activity and, in turn, global demand for oil. As a result, we have seen oil prices fall to historic lows. In this webinar, Michael Kokalari introduced the background to these recent developments, including the recent rise and fall in oil prices and how this has impacted financial markets.
In his presentation, Mr Kokalari described in detail how the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed down global oil consumption, the costs and problems of renting and storing oil, and the actions of major players such as Russia, Saudi Arabia, OPEC and the United States. He then discussed oil futures and how companies estimate their consumption over time; before moving on to how investors invests in oil through an Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) and how these funds were impacted by the recent fall in prices.
Concluding his presentation, Mr Kokalari talked about a recent bounce-back in oil prices and the reasons for this recent recovery, gave some short-term predictions for the price of oil in the near future, and described oil production trends in Vietnam. Later, in the Q&A session, participants asked questions about subjects ranging from oil futures to the prospects of shale in the United States.