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Pair of Japan’s Yubari Melons Sell for Record $29,300

Pair of Japan’s Yubari Melons Sell for Record $29,300

Saturday, 26 May, 2018 - 08:45
A pair of Yubari melons, that fetched a record 3.2 million yen ($29,300) at an auction, are seen in Sapporo on May 26, 2018. JIJI PRESS / AFP
Asharq Al-Awsat
A single pair of premium melons on Saturday fetched a record 3.2 million yen ($29,300) at auction in Japan, breaking a 2016 record, Agence France Presse reported.

The winning bid was placed by a local fruit packing firm for the first Yubari melons to go under the hammer this year at the Sapporo Central Wholesale Market in northern Hokkaido, officials said.

The figure -- enough to buy a new car in Japan -- topped the previous record for the luxury fruit, which fetched 3.0 million yen two years ago.

Seasonal fruit offerings in Japan routinely attract massive sums from buyers seeking social prestige, or from shop owners wanting to attract customers to "ooh and aah" over the extravagant edibles.

"Yubari melons are growing well this year as sunshine hours have been long since early May," said market official Tatsuro Shibuta.

Yubari melons are considered a status symbol in Japan with many being bought as a gift for friends and colleagues.

The best-quality Yubari melons are perfect spheres with a smooth, evenly patterned rind. A T-shaped stalk is left on the fruit, which is usually sold in an ornate box.

A standard Yubari melon sells for about $50 to $100.

Even ordinary fruit is comparatively expensive in Japan and it is not unusual for a single apple to cost as much as $3.

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