Yubari Melon 1st Auction Price Dives amid COVID-19 Crisis
Sapporo, May 25 (Jiji Press)--A pair of Yubari melons sold for 120,000 yen, against last year's record price of 5 million yen, in this season's first auction at the Sapporo central wholesale market in Hokkaido on Monday.
Demand for Yubari melons, a specialty in the northernmost Japan prefecture, dropped as many retailers were shut amid the COVID-19 crisis.
A total of 554 Yubari melons were put on auction that day. The viewing gallery was placed away from the auction site and the number of visitors were restricted, in a bid to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The first winning bid was placed by Futami Seika from the city of Kushiro, Hokkaido, which sells fruits to department stores.
According to the agricultural cooperative of Yubari, the harvesting of Yubari melons started on Sunday. This year's melons grew well, and it hopes to ship 3,800 tons of melons for sales of 2.1 billion yen.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]