This sale is seen as a sign of resumption of economic activity in the archipelago after the crisis due to Covid-19. The price is indeed much higher than last year, without however breaking the record for these fruits.
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This is perhaps the most unlikely indicator of a post-pandemic economic recovery. In Japan, two premium melons sold at auction for more than 20 000 euros, or 22 times more than the price of last year, weighed down by the Covid-19. The price of 2.7 million yen (20 370 euros) for the famous Yubari melons, at the first auction of the season, is however paltry compared to other records recorded for this highly prized product.
“The rebound in prices this year can be seen as buyers’ willingness to encourage people by bidding higher.”a wholesale market official told AFP. The successful buyer is a local baby food manufacturer, whose president said he hoped the purchase would spread some good spirits. “While there is still a lot of negative news, I hope it can help people smile and overcome the pandemic”, he told national television station NHK.
Seasonal fruit offerings in Japan regularly attract buyers looking for prestige and publicity. In 2019, two Yubari melons had reached the record price of 5 million yen (37 700 euros), but the sum fell to only 120 000 yen last year, with producers accusing the virus of driving away wealthy buyers willing to raise the stakes.