This morning prices are trading lower as fears about Omicron and its fast advancement run through the market. Today crude oil opened at $70.07, diesel at $2.2168, and gasoline at $2.1271. With so much fear surrounding the Omicron variant now, it is time to take a look at what has been impacted the most over the past week.
Before the last week and a half, Omicron seemed to have settled down, impacting only small segments of regions, and producing low infection rates in many major populated areas in the United States. However, as quickly as you can snap your fingers, the variant has now seemed to change course completely, leaving the U.S. and Europe in a state of shock for how to proceed with the outbreaks. Just this week, Atlanta Hawks All-Star Trae Young and the majority of the Cleveland Cavaliers tested positive for COVID-19, postponing the game because not enough players were healthy to compete. The Hawks are just one example, as many teams both in the NBA and NFL are seeing a sudden spike in cases, with over 200 professional athletes from both leagues testing positive over the last week. The NBA announced that it would be making it easier for teams to sign reserve players in order to have enough players to play a game.
But how is all of this affecting oil prices? It simply comes down to supply and demand. Demand is lowering and will continue to follow that trend because of the new restrictions being imposed in the United States and abroad. The Netherlands alone locked down their country on Sunday to try and prevent the spread. Travel, sporting events, and even dinner plans are going to look different for the rest of the year until people feel more comfortable going out again. With U.S. health officials pleading with the public to get the vaccine and booster shots, Americans need to pick a side, and fast. We all want to be back in the normal swing of things, but that is only if we can work together.