TIMELINE: Oil's wild ride: Price moves since 2008
(Reuters) - Oil prices rallied for a fifth day on Wednesday to top $75 a barrel for the first time this year, stoked by a weak dollar and surprisingly strong China trade data that underscored a recovery in the world's No. 2 oil consumer.
Markets have been steadily rising after a dramatic collapse to near $30 a barrel in December and January, from a record peak of almost $150 in July last year.
Here is a brief timeline charting the price highs since January 2008.
January 2, 2008: U.S. crude briefly breaks the $100 barrier for the first time on the first trading day of 2008. Prices rise fairly steadily through the first half of the year.
March 5: Despite new record price highs of over $104 a barrel, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which pumps more than a third of the world's oil, says it will not put more oil on the market. It says there is enough oil, and blames U.S. economic "mismanagement" for global prices.
June 6: Prices surge $11 to a record high near $139 a barrel on a slumping dollar and mounting tensions in the Middle East. Soaring crude leads a frenzied broad-based commodity rally on U.S. grains and oilseed futures markets.
June 7: Average retail price for regular gasoline tops $4 a gallon for the first time in the United States.
July 11: Oil peaks at $147.50 for Brent and $147.27 for U.S. crude.
July 15: A sell-off begins after remarks by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke indicating a significant fall in demand in the United States, the world's top consumer.
July 18: Oil prices drop by more than $18 from a week ago to $128.88 per barrel. The price fall is triggered by a 3 million barrel increase in U.S. crude stocks and falling U.S. demand.
Aug 15: Prices continue sharp decline, falling to around $110 a barrel for Brent crude.
Sept 15: Prices below $100 a barrel for first time since March 4, and still falling.
Sept 22: Oil spikes $16 in biggest one-day gain on record. Prices pop over $120 a barrel, extending a climb from a low near $90 the previous week after the United States unveils a sweeping rescue plan for its battered financial sector.
But soon after, oil prices begin a heavy slide.
Nov 21: National average price of regular gasoline falls below $2 a gallon for first time since March 2005 -- dropping 3.1 cents to $1.989.
Dec 19: Oil drops below $34 a barrel -- charting about a 75 percent loss of value since July.
Jan 2, 2009: Oil falls more than $3 on first day of trading, with U.S. crude at $41.25 a barrel and Brent at
Aug 25: U.S. crude rises to touch this year's resistance level of $75 a barrel, the first time since late-Oct 2008.
Sept 10: At its meeting, OPEC kept output targets steady at the reduced levels agreed in September 2008, as high oil prices of above $71 meant there was no need for action.
Sept 25: Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said that $75 was a fair price for crude and he saw no need for OPEC to change production ahead of its next meeting in December.
Oct 14: U.S. crude rises to $75.15 a barrel, the highest in 2009, underscored by a soft dollar and optimism over a global economic recovery.
Source: Reuters, Energy Information Administration (here)