* Deal would create world number two * Target merger date October, 2012 * Competition, shrikking demand force consolidation * (Adds background) TOKYO, May 31 (Reuters) - Japan's Nippon Steel Corp and Sumitomo Metal Industries Ltd have formally applied to merge into the world's second-biggest steel maker to overcome tough Asian competition and shrinking demand from domestic carmakers. Japanese steelmakers have been hit hard as Toyota Motor Corp and Nissan Motor Co build fewer cars ...
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