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US auction market overtakes HK

The US auction market has overtaken Hong Kong for the first time since 2010, with Lafite the worst performer as the Asian market slows.

US auction totals rose from US$41.2 million in the second quarter of 2011 to US$45.3m in the same period this year – as previously reported by the drinks buinsess.

Meanwhile, volume sales in Hong Kong have dipped from a high of US$62.7m to under US$35m.

The Wine Spectator noted that although the auction market in Hong Kong is not what it was, the market for Burgundy and Italian wine was well and truly established and remained strong.

Overall Bordeaux has apparently only fallen 4% but figures from Liv-ex show that, on an individual basis, the drops have been much more severe.

The Liv-ex Claret Chip Auction Index (tracking the first growths from 1995 onwards) in fact shows a 10% fall in value.

Between December 2011 and June 2012, the top three performers are Latour 2002 (with a 7.8% rise to an average auction price of £3,222 a case), Haut Brion 2005 (up nearly 7% to £5,033) and Latour 2005 (up to £6,646, a rise of 3.9%).

The bottom five performers are all Lafite –Asia’s darling – with drops of 20% on average.

Lafite 2004 dropped 20% to £5,448, 2006 20.8% to £5,369, while the worst of all was the 1995 which dipped 27.8% from £10,301 down to £7,436 on average.

Other poor performers were Lafite 2003 (down 22.8%) and 1995 (-21.3%). The influx of wine to Hong Kong worried Richard Harvey MW, Bonhams’ international director of wine, who told db back in December 2011 that the sheer volume of wine was “creating a surplus and lowering estimates”.


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