Industrial electricity sales rise in May
The growth of electricity consumption by Korea's industrial sector rose 4.2 percent on-year in May due mainly to export gains in energy intensive industries, the government said Tuesday.
Sales of industrial electricity moved up to 21.53 billion kilowatt-hours last month from 20.67 billion kilowatt-hours reached a year earlier, according to the Ministry of Knowledge Economy.
The gain marks a slowdown from an 8.5 percent on-year increase tallied in May 2011, although numbers accelerated from just 1.7 percent growth reported in April of this year when sales reached 21.22 billion kilowatt-hours.
"South Korean exports contracted last month, but there was solid overseas shipment increases in general machinery, autos parts, cars and steel that pushed up electricity sales," the ministry said.
Sales of electricity to the machinery and auto sectors rose 8.4 percent and 5.8 percent, respectively, with the number for steel rising 3 percent vis-a-vis the year before.
Industrial electricity sales serve as a barometer of economic activity as companies use more electricity when business is good and cut back to cope with drops in demand. It made up roughly 60 percent of all power sales in the cited month.
In addition, the ministry in charge of the country's industrial and energy policies, said higher temperatures pushed up consumption at workplaces and factories.
Average temperature of Korea's five major cities stood at 16.5 C last month, up 2.4 C from the year before.
For the first five months of this year, industrial electricity sales gained 3.7 percent on-year to just under 107.43 billion kilowatt-hours.
Overall sales of electricity moved up 2.6 percent on-year to 36.39 billion kilowatt-hours last month as power consumption by offices, shops, educational facilities and homes all rose fueled by warmer weather, the ministry said. (Yonhap)