December 10, 2012 / 2:28 PM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 1-Russia EconMin cuts gas export and output forecasts

* Russian 2013 gas exports forecast revised down 4 pct

* Russia looks East for new energy exports markets (Adds detail)

MOSCOW, Dec 10 (Reuters) - Russia's Economy Ministry has cut forecasts for gas production and exports this year and next, while the outlook for fuel demand is uncertain, Deputy Economy Minister Andrei Klepach said on Monday.

The forecast for total Russian gas exports for this year has been cut by 6.8 percent to 180.2 billion cubic metres (bcm) and the output projection by 3 percent to 656 bcm, he said.

For 2013, the forecasts were revised down for exports by 4 percent to 196.4 bcm and for production by 1.2 percent to 683 bcm.

Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom supplies around a quarter of the gas needs for Europe, its main gas export market.

Gazprom is expected to cut its deliveries to Europe from the 150 bcm it supplied last year as Europeans have been using increasing supplies of cheaper alternatives such as liquefied natural gas (LNG) and gas from the spot market.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered Gazprom to forge closer ties with energy-hungry countries in Asia, such as Japan and China.

Russia, the world's second-largest gas producer after the United States, so far has been unable to strike an agreement with China on pipeline gas supplies due to differences over pricing and other issues. (Reporting by Darya Korsunskaya; writing by Vladimir Soldatkin; editing by Jane Baird)

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