The unprecedented crude oil price collapse on the global market has proved beneficial for China, a major oil importer, which will enable the country to build up strategic reserves at favorable prices, Chinese analysts said.

Brent crude futures declined more than 10 percent on Tuesday to $22.96 a barrel, while the May contract for US-based West Texas Intermediate (WTI) closed at a negative $37.63 on Monday - something that has not happened since oil futures began trading in 1983.  The benchmark contract at one point touched a record-breaking low of negative $40.32 a barrel.

The most active contract, for June delivery, tumbled more than 31 percent lower during morning deals on Tuesday, falling to $13.97 per barrel.

As of press time on Tuesday, China's crude oil futures were being traded at 229.2 yuan ($32.43) per barrel, down 4.78 percent from Monday.

"The price dive this time is related to sluggish market demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Once the virus is brought under control, the oil price will recover, but it will take a longer time for the price to return to $40 per barrel," said Lin Boqiang, director of the China Center for Energy Economics Research at Xiamen University.

Lin told the Global Times on Tuesday that China's retail fuel prices are likely to remain unchanged until year-end since there is no room to reduce them, based on the domestic oil price adjustment mechanism. 

China has set a floor for retail prices at $40 per barrel.

In March, the National Development and Reform Commission, the economic planner, cut the retail ceiling prices for gasoline by 1,015 yuan per ton and diesel by 975 yuan, the biggest reduction since China launched the pricing mechanism in 2013.

"It's a good time for China to buy more energy based on low world prices, however, the window is relatively narrow and the globe is now facing the same problem - a storage of storage tanks," Lin noted.

Global energy giants including BP and Total are all scaling up their crude oil reserves taking advantage of the low prices.

As a national energy hub, the free trade area of East China's Zhejiang Province has nearly 6,000 enterprises in the oil and gas sector, with their possessing storage capacity at 31 million cubic meters. 

Storage facilities for both refined oil products and crude oil are full, news site cnstock.com reported.

Iranian Petroleum Minister Calls for Additional Measures to Stabilise Oil Market

Iranian Petroleum Minister Bijan Zangeneh called on Wednesday for additional measures for stabilising the oil market, qualifying the current situation as unprecedented.

"The situation in the oil industry is unprecedented due to the coronavirus that has resulted in a significant decrease in oil products consumption, gasoline use by private vehicles has plunged, jet fuel use has decreased as well. The demand has faced a dramatic drop," Zangeneh said, as aired by IRINN broadcaster, adding that the "oil prices war" is another reason behind the crisis.

"It is necessary to reduce oil production, to be serious about. If the need emerges, additional measures by OPEC+ will be necessary, especially by producers that have not yet undertaken any obligations," Zangeneh added.

On Tuesday, June futures for Brent crude oil slumped 26.95 percent to $18.68 per barrel, earlier falling to $17.52 per barrel, the lowest price since December 2001. Brent's decline follows WTI plummeting into negative territory on Monday for the first time in their history. 

Earlier this month, Russia, Saudi Arabia and other major petroleum producers signed a historic deal to cut oil output by a whopping 9.7 million barrels per day over the next two months in a bid to end the oil glut which sent prices falling off a cliff in March.