On March 18, the US crude oil May 2019 futures closed ~$0.24 above the May 2020 futures. On March 11, the futures spread was at a discount of $1.2. On March 11–18, US crude oil May futures rose 4%.
The market sentiment towards the oil demand and supply situation is reflected in the futures spread. Usually, when the spread shifts from a discount to a premium, oil prices rise. The current shift in the spread suggests that the oil sentiments moved to the bullish zone.
In the last five trading sessions, the spread shifted from a discount to a premium. US crude oil prices rose 4%. The fall in the global oil supply and a contraction in the inventories spread might be behind the shifting sentiments.