Saudi Arabia's crude oil exports in December fell for the first time in four months, data from the Joint Organizations Data Initiative (JODI) showed on Monday.

Crude exports from the world's largest oil exporter fell 0.4% to 6.308 million barrels per day (bpd), down from 6.336 million bpd in November.

Monthly export figures are provided by Riyadh and other members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to JODI, which publishes them on its website.

Saudi's crude production rose to 8.944 million bpd in December.

The Saudi government on Jan. 30 ordered state oil company Aramco to halt its oil expansion plan and target maximum sustained production capacity of 12 million bpd. That was 1 million bpd below a target announced in 2020 and set to be reached in 2027.

Saudi Arabia this month unexpectedly kept the price of its flagship Arab Light crude to Asia unchanged for March at a more than two-year low as it strives to maintain market share.

In sharp contrast to the view of producer group OPEC, the International Energy Agency (IEA) last week said that global oil demand growth is losing momentum and trimmed its 2024 growth forecast.

December data showed that Saudi refineries' crude throughput rose by 0.326 million bpd to 2.415 million bpd and direct crude burning fell by 198,000 bpd to 303,000 bpd, its lowest since February 2022.

(Reporting by Swati Verma and Anjana Anil in Bengaluru; Editing by David Goodman)