Synopsis: BlueScope has adjusted its earnings guidance for 1H FY2024, now expecting underlying earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) between A$620 million and A$670 million, lower than the prior guidance. This revision is mainly attributed to North Star, where softened benchmark steel prices and spreads are affecting performance. The North Star business maintains full capacity utilization, with its expansion project progressing well. Delays in a project sale by the US-based BlueScope Properties Group have also impacted the guidance. Other reporting segments are expected to align with previous guidance, and further details will be provided at the upcoming Annual General Meeting.Article: BlueScope, a prominent steel manufacturer, has provided an update on its earnings guidance for the first half of fiscal year 2024 (1H FY2024). The company now anticipates underlying earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) to fall within the range of A$620 million to A$670 million, a shift from the previous guidance range of A$700 million to A$770 million.The primary factor influencing this adjusted guidance is the performance of North Star, a significant part of BlueScope's operations. North Star is expected to achieve results roughly half of those reported in the second half of fiscal year 2023 (2H FY2023). This decline can be attributed to the weaker-than-expected benchmark steel prices and spreads over the half-year period. Notably, benchmark spreads for US mini-mills are predicted to be approximately $100 per ton lower than in 2H FY2023, accounting for specific sales mix considerations.Despite the challenges posed by the softened spread environment, North Star continues to operate at full capacity utilization, and the ongoing expansion project is making good progress.In addition to the performance issues, a project sale by the US-based BlueScope Properties Group, which was part of the 1H FY2024 guidance, has faced delays. Consequently, the closure of this project sale is now expected in the second half of FY2024.While North Star has been a key factor in the revised guidance, BlueScope expects other reporting segments to perform broadly in line with the guidance provided during BlueScope's FY2023 results release in August 2023. This includes the Australian business, where softer-than-expected lagged benchmark spreads have been compensated for by stronger realized pricing and favorable raw materials mix.It's essential to note that the revised guidance is subject to fluctuations in spread, foreign exchange rates, and market conditions. BlueScope intends to offer more comprehensive insights into trading conditions at its 2023 Annual General Meeting scheduled for November 21.Conclusion: BlueScope has made adjustments to its earnings guidance for the first half of fiscal year 2024. While the North Star business faces challenges due to softened benchmark steel prices and spreads, other reporting segments are expected to align with prior guidance. The company maintains full capacity utilization at North Star and progresses well with its expansion project. Delays in a project sale have influenced the guidance, and the revised outlook remains subject to market conditions. Further details will be shared at BlueScope's Annual General Meeting in November.