Taiwan to raise electricity prices by average of 8.4%

TAIPEI, June 27 (Reuters) - Taiwan will raise electricity prices by an average of 8.4% starting from July 1 in response to rising global energy prices including a 15% increase for large industrial users, the Economy Ministry said on Monday.

However, prices will not increase for 97% of households, the ministry added, following a review of electricity pricing.

The government has been trying to contain price rises across the board for consumers to help limit the impact of inflation, including for energy.

Taiwan's state refiner, CPC Corp, has been keeping gasoline and natural gas prices artificially low for consumers despite prices of the raw materials rising globally.

That has generated large losses for both CPC Corp and state-run power utility Taipower.

Taipower is expected to see its fuel costs increase by T$300 billion ($10.13 billion) this year, the Economy Ministry said.

Speaking on Monday before the announcement, Economy Minister Wang Mei-hua said Taiwan's energy prices for consumers were already among the lowest in the world.

Analysts at Taiwan's Cathay Financial Holding said earlier on Monday that a 5-8% rise in electricity prices could add another 0.2-0.4% to the consumer price index this year, though have only a very mild impact on overall economic growth.

($1 = 29.6280 Taiwan dollars)
Reporting by Ben Blanchard and Jeanny Kao; additional reporting by Emily Chan; editing by Jason Neely

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