Crate Of Oranges Sells For $9,600 In Japan

Posted: Nov 05, 2020

A single, 20-kilogram crate of 100 Japanese mandarins (also called mikan) hit the auction block on Thursday at Tokyo's central wholesale Ota Market.

It was the year's first auction of satsuma mandarin oranges, a famous citrus species from Ehime prefecture, on the island of Shikoku in southern Japan.

'Three suns'
Nishiuwa is one of Ehime's mikan-producing regions and its semi-seedless citrus species of oranges is known for its good balance of rich and sweet flavors, its easy-to-peel thin skin as well as its melt-in-the-mouth texture.

The highest priced Nishiuwa mandarins are from one of the region's leading brands -- Hinomaru.

"Hinomaru mikan are produced in a limited area on the coast of Yawatahama city in Ehime prefecrture," Shin Asai, from JA Nishiuwa's sales department, tells CNN. "It's a mikan that is grown with so-called three suns -- the actual sun, the reflected light from the sea and the reflected light from the stone walls of the terraced fields."

Only about 100 farmers produce this special kind of mikan in the area.

"Hinomaru Mikan this year have been particularly good quality," Asai adds.

The high bid at the Thursday's auction was considered "a very celebratory price" to mark the beginning of Japan's mikan season, according to a representative of Nishiuwa agricultural association.

By Maggie Hiufu Wong and Junko Ogura
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