Saudi Arabia’s crude oil exports rose in December after falling to a five-month low the previous month, data from the Joint Organisations Data Initiative (JODI) showed on Monday.
The kingdom’s crude exports rose about 2.2% to 7.44 million barrels per day (bpd) in December from 7.28 million bpd in November.
However, the world’s largest oil exporter’s crude production fell slightly from 10.47 million bpd in November to 10.44 million bpd.
Saudi’s domestic crude refinery throughput fell 40,000 bpd to 2.62 million bpd in December, while direct crude burn rose 48,000 bpd to 477,000 bpd.
Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia raised prices for its flagship crude for Asian buyers for the first time in six months amid an expectation of oil demand recovery, especially from China.
Saudi Arabia emerged as top crude oil supplier to China again in 2022 and is expected to remain so after President Xi Jinping’s visit to Riyadh in December.
Monthly export figures are provided by Riyadh and other OPEC members to JODI, which publishes them on its website.
While the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) raised its 2023 global oil demand growth forecast this week, its monthly report showed crude oil output declined in Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran as part of the organisation’s deal.
Global oil demand climbed by 1.3 million barrels a day in December to a record high, driven by gains in Indonesia, Japan and Korea, the International Energy Forum said, citing data JODI data.
Meanwhile, Russia plans to cut oil production by 500,000 bpd, equating to about 5% of its output, in March after the West imposed price caps on Russian oil and oil products.