In 2003, the total volume of production of ferrous metals will be 100-101.5percent of the estimates for 2002, including rolled ferrous metal - 102-103percent and steel tubes - 101.5-103.7 percent. This information wasreleased in the Forecast of Social and Economic Development of the RussianFederation for 2003 and Major Parameters of the Forecast till 2005,prepared by the Russian Economy Ministry for today's meeting of thegovernment. In 2002, the total production volume of the ferrous industrywill amount to 101 percent of the level of 2001.The report points out that in 2003, the major goal of the industry is toraise the efficiency of production and the competitiveness of metalproducts, reducing the consumption of raw materials and increasing theshare of high process products. The production volume of ferrous metalswill still depend on the environment of foreign metal markets.In 2003-2005, the major growth of the production of rolled ferrous metalsis expected due to an increase in the demand of major consumers: theengineering industry, including car and railroad transport producers, theconstruction, energy, oil and gas industries.In connection with this, the production of rolled ferrous metals is plannedat 48-49 million tons in 2005. The creation of production of1,420-millimeter pipes for gas pipelines, suggested by the document, willcontribute to a decrease in the imports of such pipes by 100,000 tons in2004 and 2005..