As if automakers and suppliers didn't already have enough to worry about, now there's an entirely artificial gas 'shortage' in eastern Europe.

The halt in natural gas supplies from Russia, due to that country's distribution dispute with Ukraine, has halted output at Suzuki's unit in Hungary after the country placed restrictions on industrial users a Suzuki spokeswoman was quoted as saying.

She added the automaker would restart production on Monday.

Russian gas imports via Ukraine to Hungary completely stopped on Tuesday and did not resume on Wednesday, Reuters reported.

Meanwhile, Kia and PSA Peugeot Citroen assembly plant spokesmen said they were assessing the impact of reduced gas supplies.

"If we have to cut gas consumption to a minimum, it would affect production because it is heat-demanding," Kia factory spokesman Dusan Dvorak told the news agency.

US Steel has also reduced production at its plant in the eastern Slovak town of Kosice, sources said, though the company would not comment.

Slovak gas firm Slovensky Plynarensky Priemysel, run by GDF Suez and Eon , declared what is known as a "state of emergency with gas supplies" on Tuesday, Reuters noted.

It had reduced gas deliveries to customers with annual consumption exceeding 60,000 cubic metres to a "safe minimum".

A government spokesman said Slovakia had natural gas reserves of around 2bn cubic metres, a third of its annual consumption and did not expect a major impact on the economy from the reduced gas supplies.

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