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MUMBAI, Feb 13 AFP

February 14 2013, 01:13AM

India's Tata Steel, one of the world's largest steelmakers, has posted a second straight quarterly loss and missed estimates, as demand and prices continued to decline in its key European market.

The firm, which bought Anglo-Dutch company Corus for $US13.7 billion ($A13.37 billion) in 2007, reported a net loss of 7.63 billion rupees ($140 million) for the three months to December, up from a loss of 6.03 billion rupees a year earlier.

The earnings were worse than analysts' forecasts of a 740-million rupee loss.

The company, part of the sprawling tea-to-vehicles Tata Group conglomerate, announced a three per cent drop in sales to $5.8 billion.

Europe accounts for about two-thirds of sales and production for the steelmaker, which has an annual capacity of 28 million tonnes.

"Demand contraction in Europe was significant. There is no magic bullet, we will have to ride out the short-term challenges," Tata Steel's group chief financial officer Koushik Chatterjee told reporters in a conference call.

The company has operations in India, Europe and Southeast Asia.

The global steel industry is facing an uncertain outlook and slowing growth due to the eurozone debt crisis while India's economy has weakened sharply.