Taiwan's CPC loses almost $2 billion this year due to high energy prices

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TAIPEI, July 5 (Reuters) - Taiwan's state refiner CPC Corp lost T$55.5 billion ($1.86 billion) in the first six months of this year due to rising global energy prices and not being able to pass on all the costs to consumers, chairman Lee Shun-chin said on Tuesday.

Taiwan said last week it would raise electricity prices by an average of 8.4% starting July 1 and a 15% increase for large industrial users, though with no increase for the vast majority of households.

The government has been trying to contain price rises across the board for consumers to help limit the impact of inflation, including for energy, with CPC keeping gasoline and natural gas prices (LNG) artificially low for consumers.

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Lee told a Taiwanese radio station that both CPC and state-run electricity producer Taipower had a "policy mission" to keep prices stable, and that gasoline and diesel prices were amongst some of the lowest in the world for consumers.

Domestic industrial users of electricity are effectively getting a 60% discount from CPC, Lee added.

"From the start of this year until the end of June, we've already lost T$55.5 billion," he said. "It's mostly due to LNG."

Global energy prices have been rising due to supply chain disruptions caused by the war in Ukraine.

($1 = 29.7820 Taiwan dollars)

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Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore

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