Top Bid at New Year Tuna Auction in Tokyo only a Tenth of Last Year’s Price

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Intermediate wholesalers are among the people checking the condition of tuna before the New Year auction held at Toyosu Market in Koto Ward, Tokyo, early Tuesday morning.

The year’s first tuna auction at Toyosu Market was dampened by the slump in demand from restaurants amid the pandemic, with the top bid at just ¥20.84 million on Tuesday morning in Koto Ward, Tokyo.

The hatsuseri New Year auction fetched about ¥200 million in 2020 and over ¥300 million in 2019.

The Pacific bluefin tuna that sold at the highest price Tuesday was caught in waters off Oma, Aomori Prefecture, and weighed 208 kilograms, meaning it cost ¥100,000 per kilogram. It was among the 1,432 tuna at the auction, which started just after 5 a.m.

Yukitaka Yamaguchi, the president of Yamayuki, the fisheries intermediate wholesaler at the market that bought the tuna, said, “There is a lot of bad news about the novel coronavirus, so I hope people feel better after eating the most auspicious tuna.”