Fine Wine Prices in 2018: Merchants' Predictions vs. Reality

  • Anthony Maxwell, Liv-ex Director

  • 11 Feb 2019 | News & Views

Every year in January, we ask our members—the largest pool of fine wine merchants globally—to estimate the closing level of the Liv-ex 100 index that December.

On average, Liv-ex members predicted that the industry benchmark would increase by 3.7% in 2018 to close on 324.22. In reality, the index dipped 0.2% to close on 312.05.

Most merchants expected the market to increase in 2018, with 80% predicting that the index would go up. The highest estimate was for a closing level of 487.32. One pessimist guessed 290.82, the lowest estimate.

This year’s winner predicted that the index would close at 312.69, the same as its 2017 close and just 0.64 points off the actual closing level. They are now the proud owner of a Comtes Lafon Volnay Santenots Milieu 2001 magnum.

This year, we also asked merchants to predict the top three performing sub-indices of the Liv-ex 1000. Overall, the best-performing sub-index was the Burgundy 150 (34.9%). The Bordeaux Legends 50 (8.3%) and Champagne 50 (7.8%) followed behind in second and third, respectively.

As the chart below shows, the majority of merchants correctly predicted that the Burgundy 150 would be the best-performer, with 76% picking it as their first choice. The remaining 24% of respondents predicted it would place 2nd or 3rd.

57% predicted that the Italy 100 would be the second-best performer. In reality, the sub-index closed the year in 5th place, up 3.7%.

Readers should take note that the views of this author represent those of a company with an interest in the wine trade. Liv-ex operates the global marketplace for fine wine. It offers trading, data and settlement services to professional buyers and sellers of fine wine. Private collectors can view Liv-ex prices and value their portfolios using Cellar Watch and find regular market analysis on the blog. The opinions of Liv-ex are their own and do not represent those of Robert Parker Wine Advocate or Wine Journal. Liv-ex contributes articles to Wine Journal that we feel are of market relevance to readers, but we do not specifically endorse this company.

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