MOSCOW, July 19 (Reuters) – Russian steelmaker Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works (MAGN.MM) (MAGNq.L) said on Monday it increased second-quarter crude steel output by 9 percent compared with the preceding three-month period.
Rivals Evraz (HK1q.L) and NLMK (NLMK.MM) last week also said they increased output, in the hope that the trend of weaker prices in the last two months will turn around in the autumn, [ID:nLDE66E0P1] while MMK forecast 2011 steel output to rise 20 percent to 12 million tonnes. [ID:nWLA8353]
MMK said in a statement its production of crude steel totalled 2.985 million tonnes versus 2.732 million tonnes in the first quarter. It did not provide year-ago numbers.
The company, Russia’s third-largest steel producer by volume output, earlier forecast flat second-quarter production before it was expected to fall slightly during the quieter summer months of June and July. [ID:nLDE65A07O]
MMK also said finished products output grew 7 percent quarter-on-quarter to 2.623 million tonnes from 2.453 million tonnes, and its domestic and export prices kept on increasing in the April through to June period.
The company, which is controlled by Russia’s ninth richest man Viktor Rashnikov, said average price of steel products increased by 17 percent.
Its Moscow-listed stock opened 0.54 percent higher on Monday, slightly outperforming the broader market index which edged up 0.17 percent. (Reporting by Maria Kiselyova; editing by Keiron Henderson)