At the start of each year, London’s International Vintners Exchange asks its members to draw on their expertise and knowledge of the market to predict price rises for the coming year.
Merchants are asked specifically to estimate the closing level of the Liv-ex 100 index – the index that tracks price movements of the 100 most sought-after fine wines for which there is a strong secondary market.
This year, respondents on average have estimated that the index will close on 320.6, gaining a total of 7.8% over the coming months. If this expectation comes to fruition, it will represent a corking victory for the fine wine market for the second year in a row.
James Miles, co-director of Liv-ex, said: “The results of the Liv-ex survey suggest that the majority of fine wine merchants are optimistic about the year ahead.
“This follows an impressive year for fine wine, which outperformed other markets including gold, copper and stocks in 2016, rising 25%.”
Fine wine predictions in 2016
Last year, for the first time since 2013 when Liv-ex piloted its members survey, the index performed better than members had predicted.
Merchants had estimated a price rise of just 5.4% on average, with the reality being a dazzling 24.8% closing on 297.33. Up to 98.9% of merchants failed to accurately predict the market’s gains.
The most pessimistic outlook was a closing level of 215; the most optimistic was 300 – the winner being the merchant who made the second highest guess. Last year the prize was a magnum of Louis Roederer Brut 1990.
He who dares, wines?
In 2016, 14.1% of members predicted a drop in the index – compare this with only 9% in 2017. This year instead the vast majority – 89% of them – foresee an upward movement in the market.
The most optimistic respondent went as far as to say gains of 31% might be likely, whereas at the other end losses of 15.9% were predicted.
So far, the index has gained 1.7% over the course of January and February, though monthly gains have been relatively small.
Hopes for Bordeaux 2016
Miles added: “The outlook for Bordeaux 2016 is also encouraging after a successful harvest. A fairly priced en primeur campaign has the potential to improve sentiment further.”
Watch this space for regular updates on the upcoming En Primeur campaign, which proves to be a plentiful one at least.
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If you’re new to the fine wine market, these predictions may provide the impetus you need to start building your first portfolio.
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