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Tata Steel cuts production in India on coronavirus hit

A Tata Steel sign is seen outside their plant in Scunthorpe northern England

BENGALURU (Reuters) - India's Tata Steel <TISC.NS> said on Wednesday it has begun scaling down production at facilities in four major cities, including at its flagship plant in Jamshedpur, as the conglomerate takes measures to deal with the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

Operations in downstream facilities have been suspended and put on care-and-maintenance mode, the company added.

Tata Steel said it was not yet able to assess the impact of the situation on its operations and financials, joining the Steel Authority Of India Ltd <SAIL.NS>, which said last week it had scaled back its manufacturing operations but could yet not estimate the hit it would take.

In Europe, Tata Steel had cut back production to match lower demand, the company reiterated.

"Overall European steel demand has sharply reduced compared to the normal conditions and many of our customers have paused production, including European car manufacturers," the company said.

Tata Steel Europe produced 2.51 million tonnes in the last three months of 2019.

The company is currently operating all four blast furnaces at a reduced level in its steelmaking hubs in Ijmuiden, Netherlands, and Port Talbot, Wales, the company said on Wednesday.

More than 850,000 people have been infected by the coronavirus across the world and more than 40,000 have died, with the pandemic denting demand for commodties.

(Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)