New Coronavirus Affecting Fish Trade in Japan

Society Lifestyle

Tokyo, Feb. 29 (Jiji Press)--The spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus has been affecting fish trade in Japan, with, for example, prices of natural tuna and other high-quality fish at Tokyo's Toyosu wholesale market plunging amid falling demand from restaurants and hotels reflecting a decrease in the number of tourists.

The volume of cultured fish handled at the market in Koto Ward in the Japanese capital has also been dropping as many events have been canceled to reduce the risk of infection.

The moves by restaurants to curb purchases have led to a tumble in the prices of highest-quality domestic natural bluefin tuna. At Toyosu, wholesale prices of bluefin tuna caught off Shizuoka Prefecture, central Japan, and Nagasaki Prefecture, southwestern Japan, stood around 3,500 yen per kilogram in late February, down 30 to 40 pct from a year before.

"In February, the number of customers was down by as much as 30 pct from the year-before level" due partly to a fall in the number of tourists from abroad, said an official at a popular sushi restaurant in Tokyo's upscale Ginza district.
Prices of other luxury marine products, such as rosy seabass and sea urchin, have fallen sharply as well, also because of a plunge in purchases from abroad, including Hong Kong.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press