Industrial power consumption grows for 6 straight quarters in Q2

SEJONG-- South Korea's industrial electricity consumption rose 0.6 percent in the second quarter from a year ago helped by an upturn in the chipmaking and chemical sectors, the government said Wednesday.

The amount of electricity consumed by the country's industrial sector reached 69.97 billion kilowatt-hours in the April-June period, compared with 69.55 billion kWh in the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

The quarterly figure has been on a steady rise since the first quarter of 2016, when it turned around to mark a 1.5 percent on-year gain.

Industrial electricity sales are often considered a barometer of industrial activity as companies use more power when business is good and cut back when demand is low.

The on-year hike came as exports continued their rally for nine straight months in July on the back of a global economic recovery.

The ministry said electricity consumption by the semiconductor and chemical sectors rose 6.7 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively, in the second quarter from a year earlier, while the shipbuilding sector saw its power usage drop 19.8 percent due to the fallout from restructuring.

Samsung Electronics Co., South Korea's largest chipmaker, reported a second quarter net profit of 11 trillion won (US$9.8 billion), up 89 percent from a year earlier, apparently helped by strong returns from its chip business amid an industrywide boom.

South Korea's overall electricity sales in the April-June period rose 1 percent on-year to 119.23 billion kWh, with consumption by commercial buildings and households rising 1.9 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively, from a year earlier.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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