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market report

Liv-ex is an electronic exchange for fine wine used by professional merchants and collectors. Market Report is part of a package of data and services offered to subscribers of Liv-ex. Subscriptions start at £49.95 per year.

Below is just a brief extract from the latest Market Report. For the full report and to access Liv-Ex's services, sign-up with them at www.liv-ex.com

Liv-Ex Market Report
by Liv-ex.com, June 2007

Trading
The Bordeaux campaign got off to a slow start in May. By the close of the month only five of our list of top flight chateaux had released their prices. But while the chateaux pontificated, the rest of the market continued to motor along. Exchange turnover was up 41% year on year and prices continued to soar. The Liv-ex 100 set yet another new all time high with an 11.5% rise for the month, leaving the twelve-month gain at 64.3% (to find Liv-ex 100 on Bloomberg: see index code LIVX100). It is up 35% year to date!

As in April when the Liv-ex 100 added 9.2%, investor buying of the big wines dominated May. The new vintage accounted for only 2.5% of total trade. Instead the market busied itself with back vintages, which manifested itself in two ways. First, there was a surge in interest in 2005, which made up 22% of total turnover for the month. Second, the market took the view that 2004, 2002 and 2001, were too cheap against the likely opening levels for 2006. We try to identify these opportunities in Final Thought.


(more analysis in the full report)

Major Movers
The table below highlights some of the price movers for the month of June.


(analysed in detail in full report)

Critical Corner
2005 White Burgundy – by Allen Meadows of Burghound.com In recent years Burgundy has produced a number of very different vintages. The universally acclaimed 2002, the heat affected 2003 and the variable 2004, where the whites were generally perceived as being of higher quality than the reds. Across many wine-producing areas in France, including the Cote de Nuits, 2005 produced some extraordinary wines. With this background, are the whites wines of the Cote de Beaune of equal quality? In Issue 27 of Burghound (see www.burghound.com) Allen Meadows reviews the wines.

“.... In my strong view, the best 2005 whites from the Cote d'Or are not only excellent but much better than they've been given credit for to this point. Moreover, it's a highly consistent vintage...from top to bottom.."

One of the hallmarks of a perceived great vintage would seem to be the ability of lesser appellations and less renowned domaines to produce top quality wines. Simple Bourgogne Blanc, Bourgogne Aligoté and village level wines are singled out for praise by Meadows, though it is the next level up that has produced some of the most interesting wines.

Final Thought
At the time of writing, we are still awaiting the big names from Bordeaux to release their 2006 prices. In numerical terms the campaign is now almost complete, but such is the concentration of the business in the top wines, that in financial terms the campaign has barely started. The first growths are massively important to the fine wine trade, perhaps accounting for 40%+ of turnover in a typical campaign. The trade will be hoping that the firsts are fairly priced to liven up what has been a tough vintage to sell so far.

If anything wines have been more expensive than expected and most wines are still freely available on merchant lists in both London and Bordeaux at the opening price. There have been a few successes. Leoville Barton, Lynch Bages, Vieux Chateaux Certan, Carruades Lafite and Pavillon Rouge are all trading up on their opening levels in London. Ironically, such is the power of their respective brands, that neither Carruades nor Pavillon (the second wines of Lafite Rothschild and Margaux respectively) have even been scored by Robert Parker. So how does one play profitably in 2006?

We have laid out current UK market prices and scores (from erobertparker.com) for the top wines of the last 7 vintages. To help identify where the value lies, we have then computed our POP (price over points) ratio, to calculate what one is paying per point. (The Parker score is actually shortened to 20 points by subtracting 80 from the score, because wines with less than 80 points have limited secondary market value). We have then grouped the wines with their peers for ease of comparison.


(complete table with all seven years in full report)

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