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Severstal, MMK Results Show Revival in Steel

Fourth-quarter production figures released by Severstal and Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works on Tuesday provided further evidence that Russian steel is bouncing back from the depths of the economic crisis that caused mills to slash output from October 2008.

Severstal, Russia’s largest producer, said Tuesday that fourth-quarter output reached 4.62 million metric tons, up 47 percent from the year-earlier period.

Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works, or MMK, said fourth-quarter crude steel output reached 2.56 million tons, up 55 percent.

Last month, Evraz reported a 31 percent year-on-year fourth quarter production increase, while Mechel said late on Monday that year-on-year steel output rose 31 percent in the period.

“Mechel continues to operate at a 100 percent utilization rate in its steel division,” Renaissance Capital analyst Boris Krasnozhenov wrote in a note. “The company posted maximum long steel output at its Chelyabinsk site in December over the last six months of 2009.”

Steelmakers in Russia, the world’s fourth-largest producer, have suffered from a decline in orders from crisis-hit domestic sectors such as construction and automobile manufacturing.

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