(Changes dateline to Yokohama, adds background)
YOKOHAMA, Japan, June 25 (Reuters) -Motor Co is close to having to raise prices in Japan amid a surge in the cost of raw materials such as steel, Carlos Ghosn, chief executive of Japan's third-largest automaker, said on Wednesday.
and other automakers are having to swallow higher prices of steel as suppliers such as Nippon Steel look to pass on the rising costs of freight, coal and iron ore.
Higher raw materials costs is a major reason Nissan and its top two rivals in Japan,Motor Corp and Motor Co , expect profits to fall sharply this business year.
Ghosn, who is also chief executive at top Nissan shareholder, told Nissan's annual shareholders' meeting that conditions were close to the point where it would have to raise prices in the Japanese market.
Ghosn said he would consider such a move while monitoring steps by its rivals.
Shares of Nissan ended the morning session in Tokyo down 1 percent at 888 yen. The benchmark Nikkei average was down 1.5 percent. (Reporting by Nobuhiro Kubo and Nathan Layne; Editing by Chris Gallagher)