Premium melons in Japan cost $ 24,800 in unusual sign of economic recovery

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In what could be the most unlikely indicator of a post-pandemic recovery, a pair of premium Japanese melons sold at auction for $ 24,800 (€ 20,416), more than 22 times the price virus from last year.

The price of 2.7 million yen at the first auction of the season for the famous Yubari melons is still a snip compared to records for the prized product.

“The pick-up in prices this year can be seen as the result of buyers looking to encourage people by bidding higher,” a wholesale market official told AFP.

The successful bidder was a local baby food manufacturer, whose president said he hoped the purchase would spread some good humor.

“While there is still a lot of negative news, I hope it can help people smile and overcome the coronavirus pandemic,” he told the NHK national broadcaster.

The seasonal fruit offerings in Japan regularly attract massive amounts of buyers looking for prestige and plenty of free publicity.

Seasonal fruit offerings in Japan regularly attract massive amounts of buyers looking for prestige and plenty of free publicity.

In 2019, a pair of Yubari melons cost a record five million yen, but the price fell to just 120,000 yen last year, with growers accusing the virus of keeping wealthy bidders eager to outdo themselves.

Melons come from Hokkaido, the country’s northernmost main island and a popular tourist destination. The region is currently in a state of viral emergency along with nine other areas, including the capital Tokyo.

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