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Why 2 Japanese Melons Just Sold for Over $29,000 at Auction

There’s a new record for the most expensive melons ever.

Over the weekend the president of a fruit and vegetable packaging company in Japan bid ¥3.2 million ($29,251.50) for two melons grown in the municipality of Yubari, which is known for its melons. It was the first auction of the season. The bid surpassed the previous record of ¥3 million ($27,423.28), which was set in 2016, and more than doubled the ¥1.5 million ($13,711.64) paid for a pair of melons at last year’s first auction.

Shinya Noda, the President of Hokuyu Pack, said it was his intention to set a new record to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the company’s establishment. The melons were bought as a summer gift for Hokuyu Pack’s customers and clients.

It’s not unusual for specialty fruits to command high prices in Japan, where they are often given as gifts. In 2015, a single bunch of grapes sold for $8,200 to a chef who used them in desserts at his restaurant.

The melons will be displayed until the end of the month and then cut up and given in pieces to customers.