Net oil imports reflect the broadest measure of liquid fuels and include the following elements in the volumes of oil liquids produced and used within national borders: Crude oil, lease condensates, natural gas liquids, biofuels, other liquids and refinery processing gain, which in the United States has been roughly 1 million barrels per day in recent years.
Another common (and narrower) measure of oil import dependence is the ratio of net imported crude oil to net crude oil inputs to refineries. The United States has emerged as a significant net exporter of petroleum products in recent years and a portion of U.S. crude oil imports is used to produce products not consumed domestically. The advent of China as the world's largest importer based on the narrower measure occurs on a different schedule than for the broader one, but the basic trends and drivers remain the same as for the broader measure. However, imports of crude oil alone do not automatically imply domestic dependence on foreign supplies.
Gold is on a tear as well. Bloomberg News reports that "Gold consumption in China, the world's largest user after India, jumped 54% in the first half of 2013, putting the country on track to become the top bullion consumer at a time when demand is contracting elsewhere. Consumption reached 706.36 metric tons in the first six months, the China Gold Association said today in an e-mailed report." They also reported that "Gold premiums in India, the world's largest consumer last year, may extend their advance to a record as central bank restrictions halt imports.
The fees paid by jewelers to banks and other suppliers have jumped to about $40 an ounce over the London cash price from $30 in the week ended Aug. 2, said Haresh Soni, chairman of the All India Gems & Jewelry Trade Federation. Premiums may surge to $100 if the government doesn't ease the rules, said Bachhraj Bamalwa, a director at the federation, which represents about 300,000 jewelers and bullion dealers.