Liv-Ex Wine Price Show Signs of Stability as Trade Climbs

Chateau Cheval Blanc
Tourists visit Chateau Cheval Blanc in Saint-Emilion, France. Photographer: Nicolas Tucat/AFP/Getty Images

Prices for wines on the London-based Liv-ex online exchange showed signs of stability last month as the market sought to recover from a three-year slump, with value traded rising to a two-year high.

The Liv-ex Fine Wine 50 Index, tracking 10 vintages of the five Bordeaux left-bank first growths, fell 0.6 percent in March while holding onto a 0.5 percent year-to-date gain, according to Liv-ex’s e-mailed Cellar Watch report. The Bordeaux 500 Index, capturing wider trends from the region, rose 0.1 percent while remaining 0.5 percent down this year.

There are signs appetite for top Bordeaux is reviving after a price drop between 2011 and 2014 in the face of cooling Chinese demand and a decline in the quality of vintages coming to market since 2011. Investors and collectors are now focused on the pricing of the 2014 vintage, shown to the trade this month and due to become available as futures in coming weeks.

“The exchange saw the most trade by value since March 2013; the number of live markets (the number of wines with both a bid and offer against them) reached a record high and the major indices continued to hold steady,” Liv-ex said.

While Bordeaux’s share of trade by value slipped further to 73 percent, outside the first growths Liv-ex reported high levels of activity for wines such as Chateau Cheval Blanc in Saint Emilion and Chateau Cos d’Estournel in Saint Estephe. Demand also remained strong for Pomerol producer Petrus.

The broader Liv-ex 100 Index, including wines from Burgundy, Champagne and Italy, fell 0.5 percent last month while showing a 1.1 percent gain so far this year, according to Liv-ex. Champagne accounted for a record 9.6 percent of trading. Italian wines, representing 5.6 percent of the market, saw demand stoked by the Brunello di Montalcino 2010 vintage.

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