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Industrial power consumption grows for 5 straight quarters in Q1

South Korea's industrial electricity consumption rose for five straight quarters in the first three months of the year on a sharp upturn in the chipmaking and chemical sectors, the government said Thursday.

The amount of electricity consumed by the country's industrial sector reached 71.06 billion kilowatt-hours in the January-March period, up 2.4 percent from 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 increase was led by a months-long rally in exports, which continued in an upbeat mode for five months in a row since November last year on the back of a recovery in the world economy.

(Yonhap)
(Yonhap)

By sector, electricity consumption by semiconductor businesses rose 5 percent on-year over the three-month period, while the chemical and oil refinery sectors saw their power usage grow 4.5 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, Samsung Electronics Co., the country's largest chipmaker, said that its first-quarter net profit shot up 46.29 percent from a year earlier as its chip business posted a record-high performance.

The country's overall electricity sales in the three months through March gained 1.3 percent on-year to 132.18 billion kilowatt-hours, with consumption by commercial buildings rising 1.6 percent but that of households dropping 0.7 percent from a year earlier. (Yonhap)

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