Primeurs and Asia boost BI

A “phenomenal” en primeur campaign and strong demand in Asia boosted UK fine wine merchant BI’s sales to £50 million it has reported.

In a half year update, BI stated that the first half of 2017 has been one of its strongest sales periods for “a number of years”, with total sales rising by 43% to £50m, with Asia accounting for 50%of trades.

There were also strong performances by BI’s spirits division and its LiveTrade platform, the former seeing sales rise by 79% compared to the same period last year – with Asian demand for rare whiskies driving the bulk of sales – and the trading platform seeing a 56% increase in sales to £17.2m, 70% of the wines bought going to Asian clients.

Sales of fine wines were robust, the merchant reporting sales of Burgundy were up 36%, Champagne 38% and US wines 39%.

Meanwhile, sales of Bordeaux saw a 49% rise driven in no small measure by the recent en primeur campaign and continued demand in Asia for back vintages.

BI said that its futures campaign for the 2016 wines was “the most successful since 2010” and generated £14m in total – a 65% rise on the £8.5m made last year with the 2015s.

As reported by the drinks business, many fine wine merchants in the UK have come away from the recent campaign quietly pleased with the result.

Even though volumes sold may not be too different to last year, the increased prices of many wines will certainly have been a boon to merchants’ coffers.

Furthermore, this campaign demonstrated a renewed interest in Bordeaux and en primeur from UK buyers and, indeed, BI reported that 70% of its sales this campaign were to British clients who, furthermore, “remained undeterred by the weaker sterling exchange rate.”

BI’s managing director, Gary Boom, commented: “Looking to the balmy summer months ahead the sustained high levels of trade, steady prices and preponderance of export demand all give reason for optimism. The diversity of demand is encouraging, and suggests that the global market is maturing very nicely.

“Moreover, the plight of the 2017 harvest, which has been heavily hail and frost affected, suggests that a further future supply constraint is to be incorporated. While this is awful news for affected winegrowers, it is at least welcome news for holders of stock.”

One Response to “Primeurs and Asia boost BI”

  1. Carm says:

    Interesting, as it is quite diffrent from the usual “story-telling” from mainstream media. So Bordeaux futures did actually well? So Asia is actually doing well? Oddly enough we were told the opposite. The problem, as often, if not as always, seems to come from dishonest press reporting whatever but reality. Beware from media!

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