UPDATE 1-Russia's NLMK sees steel output up 3.8 pct in 2014

Mon Feb 10, 2014 10:27am EST

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(Releads, adds outlook for Russian steel demand)

LONDON Feb 10 (Reuters) - NLMK, one of Russia's top steelmakers, estimated its crude steel output would rise by up to 3.8 percent in 2014 and said it had slashed planned investment for the next three years due to lacklustre market conditions.

A sharp decline in demand in crisis-hit Europe and signs of a slowdown in top consumer China have forced steel companies to cut costs and struggle with oversupply.

NLMK's crude steel production will rise to between 15.9 million and 16 million tonnes this year, from 15.4 million in 2013, Chairman Oleg Bagrin told journalists on Monday.

Demand growth on the domestic market, which has been more robust than in Europe, will nevertheless decline to 2-3 percent from 3-4 percent last year, Bagrin said.

The company cut planned investment to $1.6 billion for 2014-2017 from $8 billion in 2008-2012, he said, echoing Russian rival Severstal, which last week said it would invest a quarter less in 2014 than the year before.

Shares in NLMK, which have lost over 60 percent of their value since hitting a peak in 2011, closed down 0.6 percent in Moscow.

The company said it expected sales to rise by 8 percent by 2018 to 16.3 million tonnes from 14.9 million last year. (Reporting by Silvia Antonioli; Writing by Alessandra Prentice; editing by Jane Baird)

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