(Removes reference to welded product in para 3)
* Q4 shipments up 2.9 percent vs Q3
* FY shipments down 0.3 pct vs 2011
* Sees "some growth" in 2013 on strong Russian demand
MOSCOW, Jan 29 Russia's TMK, a global
supplier of steel pipes for the energy sector, expressed
cautious optimism on Tuesday over its 2013 production outlook
thanks to a recovery in domestic demand for its core pipe
TMK, the biggest steel pipe supplier to the country's energy
sector, lost a chunk of sales in 2012 after its main customer
Gazprom slashed purchases for its pipeline projects.
However, TMK said domestic demand for TMK's key product, oil
country tubular goods (OCTG), bounced back in late 2012 and
would remain strong in the first half this year.
The company reported that its 2012 shipments fell 0.3
percent year-on-year to 4.22 million tonnes, but fourth-quarter
shipments rose 2.9 percent from the prior quarter on OCTG
"The company confirms its cautiously positive outlook for
the current year and expects some growth of shipments to be
achieved," TMK said in a statement.
The company was less confident on the short-term outlook for
international shipments, saying the U.S. market would be "filled
with uncertainty" in the first half of 2013. A U.S. gas glut has
hit prices and drilling activity.
TMK has been eyeing eyed North America's shale gas boom as a
growth opportunity, with chairman and main shareholder Dmitry
Pumpyansky telling Reuters last year he hoped the United States
would ramp up gas exports.
(Reporting by Alessandra Prentice; Editing by Douglas Busvine
and Erica Billingham)