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Fine Wine Market Report: December 2018 Market Decode

The JF Tobias December Market Decode has been released, containing all the latest JF Tobias insight and analysis on fine wine market performance. It remains the best independent analysis, and helps our clients to stay up to date with what is happening in the fine wine market, and understand fine wine market performance.

  • 49% increase in people looking to sell fine wine, against last month
  • Enquiries to sell totalling £2,019,362 submitted to JF Tobias in the past two months; a 22% increase on this time last year
  • Hong Kong market activity increases marginally by 4%, Singapore by 6%, USA by 3%; but at reduced prices
  • USA trade war truce drives marginal increase in activity across US and Asia; but at reduced prices

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December Market Decode


Brexit Uncertainty Drives Market Volatility

In December, we are continuing to see the market shaped by macro factors and events. Increasingly this is news surrounding Brexit.

The threat of a hard Brexit, under which the UK would leave the EU without a deal, combined with increasing political uncertainty surrounding the UK’s leadership, is a toxic mix for sterling.

In real terms, we are experiencing a downturn. This is a coming to terms with the likelihood that the price increases of the past 2 years (since the Brexit Vote) are simply not sustainable, coupled with the likelihood of an eventually strengthening sterling.


Fine Wine Market Performance Falls in Hong Kong

The Chinese retail market drives purchasing in Hong Kong, the largest market in the world for fine wine. As with last month, the retail market remains slow, as the China-US trade war continues. As a result, the fine wine market has also slowed.

A planned meeting between Xi and Trump, during the G20 summit at the end of November, may signal a thaw in relations, and a way out of the trade war. This would only be good news for the Hong Kong wine market, and any movement towards a deal is likely to see an increase in global wine market performance, and activity, in response.

Worryingly, however, both the stock and property markets in China have also slowed. For the first time in two years, the property market shrank, by 0.01%. With fine wine a luxury product, when these markets are down, the appetite for fine wine falls. The knock on effect can be drastic, and the global market is slow in response.


First Growth’s not Immune to Falling Market

First growths have not been immune to the falling market; prices have taken a dip in recent weeks. Despite this, low value off vintage First Growth continues to trade well.

Whilst ‘Super Seconds’ continue to struggle, the New World has also shown weakness. The more expensive niche wines, particularly from the US and AUS (such as Astralis and Opus One) have had their high prices tested by weak demand.

Access the Full Report:

December Market Decode


At JF Tobias, we pride ourselves on being the best independent port of call in the fine wine market. If you have any questions about the market report, or would like to talk to someone regarding it, please contact us, and a member of the team will be delighted to assist.

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JF Tobias