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China's power use falls 3.63% in April

CHINA'S power consumption declined 3.63 percent year on year in April, larger than the 2.01 percent decrease rate in March, the China Securities News quoted figures from the China Electricity Council Friday.

A total of 275.67 billion kilowatt hours of electricity were used in April. The figure for the first four months was 1.06 trillion kilowatt hours, down 4.03 percent from the same period a year ago.

Analysts said the extending decline indicated a soft footing in economic recovery. It is normal that power output and consumption have ups and downs in the process of economic revival.

From January to April, power used by the agriculture and tertiary sectors went up 4.69 percent and 9.04 percent. And that for industrial sector slipped 8.29 percent.

The National Bureau of Statistic said on May 13 that power generation fell 3.5 percent last month from a year earlier, to 271.29 billion kilowatt hours. The industrial output rose 7.3 percent in the same month.

Since the industrial sector consumes about 70 percent of China's power, some economists questioned whether a rise in industrial production could be accompanied by a decline in power consumption.

Zhang Liqun, a researcher with the Development Research Center of the State Council, a government think-tank, told Xinhua that when looking at the decline in industrial power use, it was important to remember that industrial upgrading was still in progress. The decline of electricity consumption by heavy industry, which accounts for 82 percent of total industrial power consumption, was the leading cause for the overall decline.

According to CEC data, power consumed by the heavy industry was down 8.62 percent in the first four months, and that for the light industry sank 6.76 percent.

Analyst expected that power use in May would fall slower than the previous month, as the rebounding electrolytic aluminum and iron and steel industries would use more electricity in the coming months.


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