Oil prices dropped again this week as the Energy Information Administration said crude inventories rose by 9.4 million barrels during the week ended Aug. 15.

Crude oil prices fell to slightly more than $113 per barrel in trading on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange yesterday. The U.S. dollar has risen against most currencies in recent weeks, giving traders additional reason to exit commodities. Since mid-July, crude oil prices have declined by about $35, or nearly 25 percent from the record $147.27 set July 11.

Declining crude oil prices have translated into a decline in both gasoline and diesel prices. Average  U.S. gasoline prices fell nearly 7 cents per gallon to $3.74 this week. That price is down 14 cents per gallon from two weeks ago. Diesel prices declined 14.6 cents this week to average $4.207 per gallon. While most involved in production agriculture welcome the recent declines, crude oil prices are still 60 percent higher than the same time last year. And while many market analysts believe oil prices will settle into a trading range near current levels, the hurricane season is far from over, and political conflicts will keep supply worries alive. — Greg Henderson, editor