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Hong Kong to overtake US as top auction destination

Hong Kong is on course to become the world’s leading wine auction centre this year, outstripping the US as the Asian passion for fine wine intensifies.

According to figures published by the South China Morning Post, sales could top US$100m in 2010 after the territory accumulated wine sales of more than HK$400m (US$51.4m) in the first half of the year.

Leading wine auction houses such as Christie’s and Sotheby’s have increasingly switched sales to the Far East to secure higher prices for their customers.

And an Acker, Merrall & Condit sale in Hong Kong at the end of May was Asia’s biggest ever and the second most lucrative wine auction on record.

The sale of lots from the cellar of controversial US wine collector Eric Greenberg made more than HK$150m.

According to the newspaper, US wine auction sales slumped 36% to about US$106m last year, part of a global fall which saw receipts dip 15% to US$233.3m.

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Written by Richard Woodard

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