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With prices dropping, an industry seeks new business models

Kyoei Steel's furnace at Hirakata Division

TOKYO -- Japanese electric furnace steelmakers have been struggling since the nuclear meltdowns in March 2011 sent their power costs spiraling upward.

     Chuo Atsuen, based in Saitama Prefecture, and two other electric furnace steelmakers closed down in 2014. But helped by falling steel scrap and crude oil prices, most Japanese steelmakers are managing to eke out profits at the moment.

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