Expert Commentary - COVID-19 and its Implications on the Italian Natural Gas Market
The year 2020 started with a shocked market by an unprecedented spread of a virus that took birth in Wuhan, Hubei province, China in December 2019 and spread across many countries in the world. It is the Coronaviruses known as COVID-19, which is a virulent virus, that caused death of people in a very short period.
On 31 December 2019, the Chinese specialists revealed an instance of pneumonia with an unclear reason in Wuhan, Hubei province, to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Starting from China while ending the lives of 3331 people and affecting 82 802 people as of the date this report is written (3rd April 2020), the virus migrated to other countries challenging the frontiers and barriers.
Other countries have declared cases of the virus and travel precautions among other measures were taken by governments, with the aim to limit the spread of the virus.
The WHO characterized COVID-19 as a pandemic and declared it as such on March 11th 2020. This reflects the severity of the case and its potential expanded risks on the humans and economies. This calls upon solidarity and cooperation among nations and governments to mitigate the risk of catastrophe and its potential irreversible consequences.
Indeed, the second quarter of March 2020 has seen an unprecedented impact of the coronavirus crisis worldwide. In front of such situation, many preventive measures and crisis management actions have been considered by governments to contain the situation such as: quarantine and self-isolation measures, locking down the affected cities, level of warning for corona virus to severe, health measures for travelers and reduced aerial and maritime movements. Such pandemic has not only affected human lives all over the world, but also the global economy driven by a deceleration of the industrial, power and distribution sector.
The epicenter of the pandemic moved directly from China to Italy which is suffering huge challenges to face this unprecedented inclement crisis, without the EU and UK being able to do anything as the interpellation alarm was ringing across all the old continent particularly in its leading economies (France, Germany, UK) in addition to Spain and Italy.
Moreover, by the beginning of April, the concentration of the pandemic moved to the United States where they recorded 213, 600 confirmed cases and total death of 4793 people as of April 3rd 2020 (as per WHO situation report).
The attached report by the GECF Gas Market Analysis Department provides an overview of the novel Coronovirus implications on the Italian Natural Gas Market. The cases of Spain and USA will be examined in separate reports.