Business | Retail

World's most expensive fish sold for $5 apiece

Japanese sushi chain to take loss of $600,000 on tuna bought from Tokyo's Tsukiji market

  • Bloomberg
  • Published: 00:00 January 6, 2012
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: EPA
  • Kiyoshi Kimura (left), president of the company that operates the Sushi-Zanmai chain, looks on after cutting off the head of a €567,000 (Dh2.67 million) bluefin tuna in Tokyo on Thursday. Kimura was the winning bidder for a 269- kilogram bluefin tuna which was sold for a record at the first auction of the year at Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market.

Tokyo: A Japanese sushi chain will take a more than $600,000 (Dh2.2 million) loss on the most expensive fish ever sold at Tokyo's Tsukiji market as it sells $74 pieces of tuna for $5 apiece.

Kiyomura K.K. paid a record 56 million yen (Dh2.67 million) for the fish at the market's first auction in 2012. Chefs carved it into about 10,000 pieces of sushi that were sold at the restaurants' normal prices of between 134 yen and 418 yen instead of the 5,649 yen needed for the chain to break even.

"It is not just about the money, as there will be positive ripple effects from buying the fish," said Hiroshi Umehara, a spokesman for the chain. "It is also about the Japanese spirit."

Foreign companies have outbid Kiyomura at the auction in the past three years, according to Umehara.

"We really wanted to provide good tuna to the locals after losing to overseas rivals in the past three years," said Umehara. "We don't think this is a proper price."

The tuna offered at the first auction of the year over the past 15 years at the Tsukiji fish market sold for an average 11.8 million yen, according to the Tokyo Metropolitan Central Wholesale Market website. The previous record price was set last year at 32.5 million yen.

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