SEOUL, Oct. 16 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's electricity consumption fell to a four-year low in August in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and a long rainy season, data showed Friday.
Power sales in Asia's fourth-largest economy came to 44,599 gigawatt-hours (GWh) in August, down 6.2 percent from a year earlier, according to the data from state utility Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO).
The figure is the lowest industrial power consumption for August since the 44,412 GWh registered in the same month of 2016.
It also represented the sixth straight month of on-year decline this year as a long rainy season and the pandemic put a dent in both household and industrial consumption.
Household electricity consumption shrank 5.5 percent on-year to 7,380 GWh in August, with power demand from commercial buildings sinking 7.2 percent to 10,795 GWh.
KEPCO said household power use in the Seoul metropolitan area plunged in August as the area was gripped by the longest-ever monsoon season that lasted for 54 days. On-year falls were 8.6 percent for Seoul, 8.2 percent for the western port of Incheon and 5.3 percent for Gyeonggi Province surrounding the South Korean capital.
Industrial electricity sales, often considered a barometer of industrial activity, also tumbled 6.4 percent on-year to 23,506 GWh in August, marking the sixth consecutive month of on-year decrease.
In the first eight months of the year, overall power sales contracted 3.3 percent on-year to 338,920 GWh, with full-year power consumption forecast to drop for the second year running.