Japan's third largest steelmaker Kobe Steel , has improved its performance in the steel business division in April-December 2021 owing to better demand and higher steel prices, which resulted in better sales volumes and returned the producer into profitability. The company posted an ordinary profit from its steel business at JPY 26.3 billion (USD 228 million) in April-December 2021 against an ordinary loss of JPY 31.8 billion in April-December 2020. Crude steel production increased by 20.8% to 4.99 million tonnes, while sales volumes were at 4 million tonnes, up 18.3% year-on-year.However, Kobe Steel has revised downwards its financial, crude steel production and sales volumes forecast for the full-year, mainly due to worsened buying interest in the automotive sector, hampered by auto parts shortage. The steelmaker expects the ordinary profit from its steel division to reach JPY 31 billion in April 2021-March 2022, as compared to the previous forecast of JPY 37 billion in November. Crude steel output is projected to touch 6.6 million tonne, lower by 100,000 tonne than expected previously. Steel sales volume is expected at 5.35 million tonne, down by 150,000 tonne from November projections.