U.S. crude prices fell for a 10th consecutive session on Friday, sinking U.S. crude futures deeper into bear market territory and wiping out the benchmark’s gains for the year.
The 10-day decline is the longest losing streak on record for U.S. crude, according to FactSet data going back to November 1984.
Crude futures are poised for their fifth straight week of losses as growing output from key producers and a deteriorating outlook for oil demand deepen a sell-off spurred by October’s broader market sell-off. The drop marks a stunning reversal from last month, when oil prices hit nearly four-year highs as the market braced for potential shortages once U.S. sanctions on Iran, OPEC’s third biggest oil producer, snapped back into place.
“The market’s not tight. I think there are windows where you could perceive it to be tight, and I think the markets got caught into that,” Christyan Malek, head of EMEA oil and gas research at J.P. Morgan told CNBC on Friday. “The reality is that we’re still in a world where we’re overproducing and we’ve got surplus.”
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude fell 82 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $59.85 by 9:03 a.m. ET (1403 GMT). The contract is now down nearly 1 percent since the start of the year. It fell as low $59.28 on Friday, its weakest level in nearly nine months.
WTI fell into a bear market in the previous session, tumbling more than 20 percent from a nearly four-year high last month at $76.90.
International benchmark Brent crude was trading 67 cents lower at $69.98, down 1 percent for the day and more than 19 percent from its recent high. The contract touched a seven-month low at $69.13 on Friday.
Brent has fallen in nine of the last 10 sessions, but is still up more than 4 percent this year.
Oil prices spiked in early October on fears that U.S. sanctions on Iran would thin out global petroleum supplies. However, the Trump administration granted temporary sanctions exemptions to eight countries, allowing Iranian crude exports to continue and easing concern about undersupply.
Analysts now expect the loss of exports from Iran to be less severe than anticipated.
Meanwhile, the world’s top three producers, the United States, Russia and Saudi Arabia are also pumping at or near records. Other OPEC members and exporting nations are also turning on the taps.