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Hungary's steel-industry output declines more than 50%

Hungary's composite national steel-industry output as declined by more than 50% since the beginning of the global economic crisis, falling from 200,000 tonnes per month during the summer of 2008 to 80,000 tons in January, 2009 and 98,000 tons in February and March of this year, Hungarian Iron- and Steel-Industry Association (MVAE) Deputy Director József Zámbó told the business daily Napi Gazdaság.

Zámbó noted that steel output at the Max Aicher Group-owned Ózdi Acélművek in Ózd (NW Hungary) has been only intermittent, while production at ISD Dunaferr in Dunaújváros (C Hungary), a unit of Ukraine's Donbass, has been reduced by 50%-60%. Production at DAM in Miskolc (NW Hungary), owned by Reeferway Limited, an offshore company, has been suspended since December.

The government has proposed granting emergency assistance only to ISD Dunaferr among the country's three major steel factories cited above, involving HUF 9 billion – HUF 10 billion of loans and guarantees. ISD Dunaferr did not wish to elaborate on details to Napi Gazdaság, saying that talks on the state assistance are underway. (MTI – Econews)