UPDATE 1-Russian steelmaker Evraz cuts output after plant shutdowns

Fri Oct 18, 2013 3:31am EDT

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MOSCOW Oct 18 (Reuters) - Russia's largest steelmaker Evraz said on Friday its third-quarter steel output dropped from the previous quarter after it shut down assets across the world due to poor demand.

The company, part-owned by billionaire Chelsea soccer club owner Roman Abramovich, said its crude steel output fell 3 percent in the third quarter to 3.96 million tonnes.

Like steel firms around the world, Evraz has been downsizing since signs of a growth slowdown in China and stagnation in crisis-hit Europe sent steel prices tumbling from all-time highs in 2011.

Still Evraz produced 1.4 percent more crude steel in the July through September period than in the same quarter last year when its figures were severely affected by flagging production at the Czech and South African enterprises.

The company produced 3.94 million tonnes of steel products in the third quarter, 3.7 percent less than in the previous quarter due to sinking output rates and saw its product prices continue falling.

"Average selling prices for most key steel product groups continued to be impacted by the downward trends in the global steel market", the firm said in a statement.

The company added that the quarterly output figures were also affected by scheduled maintenance at its Russian plant Evraz ZSMK, which will continue into the fourth quarter.

Evraz recently suspended operations at the Claymont mill in the United States, Palini e Bertoli in Italy and ran the steel shop at the Czech plant for just one month in the third quarter.

It has put up for sale its Czech Vitkovice mill and South African Highveld Steel, trying to slim down in the challenging market conditions.

Evraz announced output decline a day after third largest Russian steelmaker Novolipetsk said its quarterly steel production rose by 3 percent and second biggest steel group Severstal reported unchanged output. (Reporting by Andrey Kuzmin; Editing by Maria Kiselyova)

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