Crude oil prices continued to fall in the US during the week ended 18 August, as concerns over the global and in particular the US, economy outweighed positive indications for supply and demand balance.

The US’ benchmark September West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was trading at $75.86 a barrel on 18 August, down $1.30 a barrel from a week before.

In Europe, the September Brent contract was trading at $76.97 a barrel, largely unchanged from the $76.76 a barrel it had traded at a week before and up from the $74.56 a barrel it had traded at three days earlier.

The average price for crude oil sold by the international cartel Opec’s 12 member states was $73.05 a barrel on 18 August, the last date information was available for, down $2.35 from a week before.

The fall in prices comes despite indications that demand will hit record levels in 2011m and that new supplies may not be as readily accessed as had been previously assumed.

On 17 August, the US’ Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that stocks of both crude oil and gasoline fell in one of the world’s biggest energy consuming nations, by 800,000 barrels and 10,000 barrels respectively.

However, ongoing concerns over the global economy continue to drag on prices, analysts say.