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Beef prices are returning to levels last seen before the outbreak of mad cow disease last September, thanks in part to beef eaters ordering more as a way to increase stamina and ward off the oppressive heat, according to industry officials.

On the Metropolitan Wholesale Market in Tokyo, the benchmark price of class-A “wagyu” beef has been rising since the end of the rainy season in late July. It shot up to above 1,800 yen per kg at one point.

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