TOKYO (BLOOMBERG) - A giant bluefin tuna was auctioned at a lower price for a third straight year in the ceremonial first sale at Tokyo's fish market on Wednesday (Jan 5).
The 211kg tuna, caught off Oma in northern Japan, was sold for 16.9 million yen (S$197,604), or 80,000 yen per kilogram, an official at the Tokyo market said by phone.
Japanese wholesaler Yamayuki teamed up with Michelin-starred sushi chain operator Onodera Group and won the auction, according to a spokesman at Onodera Food Service.
The price for the closely watched bluefin New Year auction was even lower than the 20.84 million yen a year ago when the value significantly dropped due to the spread of coronavirus infections that forced people to stop dining out.
The new-year price soared in previous pre-pandemic years due to intensifying competition.
Japanese sushi chain Kiyomura, run by self-styled "Tuna King" Kiyoshi Kimura, paid a record 333.6 million yen in 2019.
The winning tuna this year will be cut at Ginza Onodera in Tokyo's Omotesando shopping district and served at all of Onodera's 12 sushi restaurants across the world, including New York and Shanghai, said Onodera Food Service.