Power Consumption Down 9.7%

Russian power demand fell an annual 9.7 percent last week as industrial production slowed.

Electricity consumption in the week to Jan. 8 dropped to 18.6 million megawatt-hours, the Market Council, a nonstate regulator for the power industry, said Monday. Prices in the European and Ural Mountains region fell 32 percent from a year earlier.

Power sold on average for 590.81 rubles ($19.04) a megawatt-hour in the European and Urals region and for 407.32 rubles a megawatt-hour in Siberia last week, the council said. Siberian prices fell 1 percent from a year earlier.

"Companies with significant operating leverage may suffer" because of the fall in demand, Sergei Arinin, an analyst at JPMorgan & Chase in Moscow, wrote in a note Monday. Regional generation and distribution firms "may experience significant pressure on margins."