Japan steel makers boost net profit forecasts

Japan's three biggest steel makers have raised their net profit forecasts for the current fiscal year as demand recovers from the effects of the pandemic.

Industry leader Nippon Steel says it estimates that net income for the year through March will be about 4.6 billion dollars. JFE Holdings also raised its outlook to 2.2 billion and Kobe Steel expects to post 440 million.

The three firms sustained losses in the first half of the previous fiscal year, but now all have reported net profits for the same period in 2021.

Company executives attributed the turnaround to recovering demand from automakers and other manufacturers.

Rising costs for raw materials such as coal and iron ore also boosted steel prices, along with the firms' profits.