A 212-kilo bluefin tuna sold for 36 million yen (C$369,000) at a traditional New Year's Eve auction in Tokyo on Thursday, a price nearly twice as high as in 2022.
The prestigious sushi restaurateur Onodera Group and the Japanese wholesaler Yamayuki won the day, as in last year's edition.
The sharp increase over one year reflects an improvement in the market trend, after three years of falling prices due to the pandemic, which particularly weighed on the Japanese restaurant sector.
But the absolute record for this tuna auction, reached in 2019 before the pandemic (333 million yen, or 3,871,865 Canadian dollars at the time), is still a long way off.
The self-proclaimed “king of tuna” Kiyoshi Kimura has long reigned over this symbolic event and offering the winner strong publicity, and it was this restaurateur who paid the record price in 2019.
But in recent years, Mr. Kimura has been less of a spendthrift, citing the pandemic.