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Liv-ex Fine Wine 100 Index grows after years of decline

Fine wine prices are staging a ‘gentle’ recovery after four years of decline – despite a Bordeaux en primeur campaign described as ‘lacklustre’.

Fine wine market Liv-ex said its Fine Wine 100 Index rose 0.9% in June to close on 244.08, up 3.4% on a year ago.

That follows a slow recovery from the nadir of July last year, when the index dropped to 234.01, its lowest level since September 2009. It rose 1.9% to the end of 2014 and has gained 2.3% in 2015 so far.

Bordeaux Index MD Gary Boom said the market was experiencing ‘welcome, gentle recovery’, with the company’s own LiveTrade index up 3.02% in 2015 and rising steadily every month since last August.

‘This gentle growth is welcome as many of our customers who watch the market carefully are no longer dissuaded from making their trades,’ he added. ‘In a falling market they will delay their purchases and understandably so.’

Nonetheless, both Boom and Liv-ex director Justin Gibbs remain cautious about the definitive nature of any recovery.

Describing the market as ‘by no means easy’, Boom said: ‘We are having to work hard for every sale and, aside from around 10 wines that sold very well, either on quality or price or both, the 2014 [en primeur] campaign did not help us very much.

‘That said, if the final feeling from the consumer about the 2014 campaign is one of indifference, then that is a considerably better situation than in the past couple of years, where there was real dissatisfaction with Bordeaux.’

Gibbs said: ‘Despite a lacklustre en primeur campaign, the secondary market has held up very well.

‘After four years of declines, few are prepared to call the turn, but our internal indicators suggest that a long overdue recovery may be under way.’

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