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Business trends

Japan oil majors on track to beat profit forecasts

Tight market from OPEC production cuts boosting shares

Improving sales margins for oil products will also help lift profit at Japan's big oil companies.

TOKYO -- Japan's four largest oil distributors are increasingly expected to top their full-year earnings forecasts as crude oil prices continue to exceed the companies' predictions.

The most recent projections by JXTG Holdings, Idemitsu Kosan, Cosmo Energy Holdings and Showa Shell Sekiyu pegged Dubai crude between $50 and $58 per barrel, but the benchmark oil is currently trading above that range. Dubai crude passed the mid-$50 level in early October and hit $60 for the first time since mid-2015 in November.

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