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Magnitogorsk Targets 8% Gain in Steel Sales on Automaker Demand

OAO Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel, Russian billionaire Victor Rashnikov’s steelmaker, plans to boost steel-product sales next year as demand from automakers climbs.

Magnitogorsk, also known as MMK, is targeting an increase of 7 percent to 8 percent in 2012, it said today in a newsletter on its website, without specifying volumes. The steelmaker expects to sell at least 11.4 million metric tons of products this year, 10 percent higher than in 2010, company filings show.

Russian steel producers are expanding output as demand from vehicle manufacturers increases. In the first nine months of 2011, Russian passenger-car output rose 54 percent to 1.27 million vehicles, while steel-pipe production gained 18 percent to 7.7 million tons, Fitch Ratings Ltd. said Nov. 7.

Growth at MMK will be led next year by its Mill 2000 in Magnitogorsk, the company said in the newsletter. MMK is scheduled to start the second phase of the mill, which produces steel for automakers, in July.

MMK’s total Russian sales may rise by 14 percent next year, the company said in the newsletter, citing plans discussed at a board meeting on Nov. 18.

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