At present, China imports 55 percent of its oil, nearly half of which comes from countries in the Persian Gulf. In volume terms, that amounts to 5.3 mbd, or about 75 percent of Saudi Arabia’s production.
China’s reliance on Middle Eastern oil imports has gradually increased in line with its ever-increasing demand for oil. At this point, China has reached the equivalent of the peak of U.S. import dependence and is showing no signs of slowing down.
The single largest source of Chinese crude oil imports comes from Saudi Arabia. In 2010, China imported 893 thousand barrels of oil per day from the kingdom, and an additional 1.3 mbd from other oil producing countries in the Middle East and North Africa. Africa is the second biggest crude oil import market at a little more than one mbd, mostly from the Sudan and Angola.