Premium Hokkaido melons fetch sharply higher price in 1st auction

Kyodo -- May 24
A pair of premium melons in Japan's northern main island of Hokkaido fetched a price of 2.7 million yen ($24,800) in this year's first auction on Monday, about 23 times higher than the winning bid of last year.

The highest ever bid for Yubari melons, a signature product of the city of Yubari, was 5 million yen in 2019. The price in last year's first auction of the fruit grown in the city was a much lower 120,000 yen reflecting subdued economic activity in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

This year's successful bidder was Hokkaido Products Ltd., a local manufacturer of baby food.

The company plans to offer the purchased melons free through its social media site, doling them out to 10 selected families with children.

- Kyodo