BlueScope Steel Limited (ASX: BLS), the $10 billion Melbourne-based metals company, expects to report underlying earnings before interest and taxes (aka EBIT) of around $680 million for the six months to 30 June 2018.

In an announcement to the ASX this morning, BlueScope Steel CEO Mark Vassella said steel prices have benefitted the company’s operations in North America.

“Following continued strong steel spreads in North America, the increase is mainly due to stronger performance at our North Star mini-mill in Ohio on higher realised steel spreads,” Vassella said.

BlueScope’s current guidance compares to its prior guidance of $606 million, a 12% improvement.

Mr Vassella said higher export coke sales from BlueScope’s Australian Steel Products were also bolstering the group’s performance.

“Our other businesses are performing well, and generally in-line with our expectations set out in February,” Vassella added.

BlueScope Steel shares have risen from a low of less than $11 in September 2017 to over $18 today, according to Google Finance.

Between April 2017 and April 2018, the Commodity Metals Price Index, which includes iron ore, aluminium, copper and other metals, rose 17% according to data compiled by

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