Russia AvtoVAZ May sales up 60 pct y/y


MOSCOW, May 31 (Reuters) - May sales at AvtoVAZ , Russia's largest carmaker, jumped 60 percent year-on-year, company president Igor Komarov told journalists on Monday.

Sales rose to 46,000 units in the Russian market alone, according to Komarov.

Domestic demand has been boosted by a cash-for-clunkers scheme, with overall Russian April sales up 20 percent year on year after 18 months of declines. [ID:nLDE64B24K]

AvtoVAZ sold 28,163 vehicles in Russia in May 2009, and 61,583 in May 2008.

Vladimir Putin, Russia's prime minister, has been eager to support domestic carmakers as Russia emerges from its first recession since the 1990s.

On Monday he met with steel producers to iron out a compromise following a series of complaints by industrial producers over rising prices.[ID:nLDE64U13R]

Under the agreement, steelmakers will raise prices by 22 percent from June until end-2010, well below previously planned increases of up to 30 percent. [ID:nLDE64D0Z5]

Nonetheless, Komarov noted that higher steel prices would cost his firm at least 1.5 billion rubles ($48.5 million) this year. (Reporting by Gleb Stolyarov, writing by Nastassia Astrasheuskaya, editing by Will Waterman)



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