China's crude oil imports hit a record 13.46 million metric tons in September – about 3.3. million barrels a day – a year-on-year increase of 24%, the Wall Street Journal reported. This is 2.4% more than the previous record for monthly imports, set in January. It was claimed that, in addition to being fueled by China's continuing rapid economic growth, crude price spiked because Chinese refiners moved to snap up crude as prices had fallen 25% from their July peak of US$77 a barrel. The New York Mercantile Exchange on Thursday settled on a November delivery price of US$57.86 a barrel, up US$0.27. Oil import growth has also been put down to China's efforts to build up its strategic oil reserve located in Zhejiang province.