* Q3 parent operating profit falls 47 pct yr-yr
* Profit of 443 bln won below consensus of 498 bln
* Cuts 2013 sales outlook to 31 trillion won from pvs
forecast 32 trillion
* Rising supply erodes sales and prices
* POSCO shares end up 0.5 pct prior to earnings announcement
SEOUL, Oct 24 South Korea's POSCO
cut its 2013 sales target by 3 percent on Thursday as the
world's fifth largest steelmaker struggles to win orders away
from Asian rivals also scrambling in an oversupplied market.
POSCO posted its steepest quarterly fall in operating
profits so far this year for the July-September period, hit by
declining sales and a prolonged slump in steel prices. Profits
fell by nearly half to a lower-than-forecast 443 billion won
Sales also fell in the third quarter. POSCO said it now
expected sales for the year to reach 31 trillion won, down from
a previous forecast of 32 trillion won.
The economic slowdown in the world's largest steel consumer
China and the financial crisis in Europe have weakened steel
demand and prices, hitting hard Asian steelmakers like POSCO and
Chinese rival Baosteel.
POSCO said that steel prices in China were likely to
"moderately bounce up" before the end of the year as inventories
declined. It did not give further details.
POSCO has struggled to win over overseas clients, as a
weaker yen helped boost export demand for Japanese steel makers
like Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp and JFE
Holdings Inc, which have ramped up production.
At home, where POSCO sold nearly 60 percent of its output in
the third quarter, the company is still losing market share to
smaller rival Hyundai Steel, which is backed by
automaker Hyundai Motor. Hyundai Steel also fired up a third
blast furnace in September.
The average selling price for POSCO's main carbon steel
products declined 12 percent to 773,000 won per tonne in the
third quarter from a year earlier, the company said.
POSCO shares ended up 0.5 percent prior to the results, in
line with a 0.5 percent gain in the broader market.
The stock has lost 8.3 percent so far this year, lagging the
market's 2 percent rise.
(Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Miral Fahmy)