The price of a barrel of oil on the London market has retreated since April, when it was trading at about $125 a barrel. Prices are now not much above the $110 mark.
However, political tensions continue to affect some oil-producing countries in the Middle East.
Iran is still threatening to block shipping via the Strait of Hormuz, through which up to one-fifth of the world's oil currently passes, unless sanctions against it are lifted.
Underlying this uncertainty is the rising demand for oil.
Analysts point, in particular, to the thirst from China for energy to fuel its factories and power thousands of new cars.
Like food, it is difficult to escape the impact of the rising crude prices.
It not only directly affects the cost of fuel and energy, but also feeds into the prices of other goods by raising the cost of production and transport.
As many economies around the world struggle to cope with a painful global downturn, wages are not rising to keep pace. So many are really feeling the squeeze.