Sotheby’s 2012 Wine Auction Sales Plunge 25 Percent

Sotheby’s (BID) global wine auction sales dropped 25 percent in 2012, reflecting a wider slump in the worldwide market.

Sales reached $64.5 million the New York-based auction house said today in a press release. The company had a low pre-sale estimate of $49.3 million and a $67.1 million high estimate. The estimates do not include buyer’s premium of 22.5 percent.

Hong Kong remained Sotheby’s largest wine auction market this year, achieving sales of $27 million, or 42 percent of its global total. Hong Kong sales fell 40 percent from $44.7 million in 2011.

According to a Dec. 2011 press release, Sotheby’s achieved wine auction sales of $85.5 million in 2011, down from $88.3 million a year earlier.

Acker Merrall & Condit, the world’s largest wine auctioneer, yesterday reported global sales of $83.3 million, down from $110.5 million in 2011.

(Frederik Balfour is a reporter-at-large for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Opinions expressed are his own.)

Muse highlights include Manuela Hoelterhoff on arts and Lewis Lapham on history.

To contact the reporter on this story: Frederik Balfour in Hong Kong at fbalfour@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net

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