SYDNEY, AAP – BlueScope Steel has reiterated its first-half earnings guidance as steel prices and demand remain strong amid favourable conditions in building and construction sectors.

Australia’s largest steel maker says it expects underlying earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) will be in the range of $2.1 billion to $2.3 billion for the first six months of FY22, confirming the guidance first provided in October.

The company had reported a record underlying EBIT of $1.72 billion in FY21.

Managing Director Mark Vassella told shareholders on Thursday he expects the business to deliver a significantly better result given the strength in domestic volumes, particularly in higher value products for the building and construction sector.

He is also expecting a significantly stronger result at its North Star Steel business in the US, driven by record steel pricing and spreads.

BlueScope is also forecasting gains in Asia and will benefit from a robust demand and pricing environment in New Zealand and Pacific Islands.