Severstal Sees Russian Steel Use Beating Forecasts on Building

Russian steel demand may exceed the World Steel Association’s forecasts this year and the next as the country steps up house building and car manufacturing, OAO Severstal Chief Executive Officer Alexey Mordashov said.

Demand may exceeded the WSA’s growth estimates of 3.8 percent for this year and 4.6 percent for 2014, the billionaire, who controls Russia’s second-largest producer of the alloy, said in an interview.

“We have growth and demand, which may be even higher,” Mordashov said today in Sao Paulo, on the sidelines of the industry group’s annual conference.

Construction will account for about 60 percent of Russian steel use this year after demand reached a record in July, according to Morgan Stanley estimates. About 70.1 million square meters (755 million square feet) of newly built housing will be registered for use this year in Russia, the most since at least the year 2000, according to estimates from the country’s economy ministry.

Cherepovets, Russia-based Severstal is selling its stake in a Brazilian iron-ore project little more than two years after acquiring it as it focuses on improving quality and cutting costs at existing operations, Mordashov said. The company isn’t seeking to sell more assets or boost capacity, he said.

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