China's crude-oil imports reached 5.55 million barrels a day in March. d Iran supplied 11% of China's total imports in 2011, giving it an incentive to ensure it has enough oil in reserve if any global embargo against Iranian oil goes into effect. A European Union embargo on Iranian crude exports is set to take full effect this summer.
China and other emerging markets have less oil on tap to provide for domestic demand than Western counterparts. China's total oil stocks, both strategic and commercial, are enough to cover only about 40 days of domestic usage, analysts estimate. By comparison, the U.S.'s strategic and commercial stockpile can cover the country's needs for 94 days. (WSJ, 4/11/2012)