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Fine wine prices hit new low

Fine wine prices are at 18-month low, according to recent figures from Liv-ex.com.

The Liv-ex 100 Fine Wine Index fell 12.4% in October with highest-end wines being hardest hit.

Worst affected was Lafite Rothschild 2004 – down 27.9% – with 2005 and 1995 falling 24% and 22.5% respectively.

Chateau Montrose 2003 fell 23.1%, while a case of Chateau Ausone 2000 fell to £12,200, down 21.7% from £15,575 in October.

In contrast, the Liv-ex 500, which tracks a far wider universe of wines including a majority of Bordeaux but also wines from Burgundy, the Rhone, Champagne, Port, Italy and the New World, was only down 1.8% in the month.

The Index, which represents the price movement of 100 of the most sought-after fine wines, has fallen 16% since its peak in June this year.

Jack Hibberd, research manager at Liv-ex, told decanter.com that ‘wine prices are affected by dramatic events, people have had to adjust. Wine was resilient until October but the market is not immune.’

The drop in the market coincided with the £625bn bail out of British and American banks and the emergency half-point cut in interest rates in October.

‘Undoubtedly, the market will recover. Following a period of wealth creation, this drop has brought the market back closer to long-term trends,’ said Hibberd.

‘It’s now a buyer’s market. Good wines are available at good prices and have come back into the buyer’s remit. In the short-term traders may be cautious, but others will see it as an opportunity. There are some good deals available.’

From October 2008, the Liv-ex Index year to date trade is down 7.6% and the year on year change is down 7.4% to 221.62 from 239.27 in Oct 2007.

Early indications before new figures are released at the end of the November show the Fine Wine Index has stabilised in the last two weeks.

Written by John Abbott

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