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Fine Wine Market Report: February 2019 Market Decode

The JF Tobias February 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.

  • 33% increase in people looking to sell fine wine, against last month
  • Enquiries to sell totalling £1,598,927 submitted to JF Tobias in the past month
  • HK sale share increases by 5%, USA sale share recedes by 7%, UK by 8%
  • Chinese New Year drives demand in HK, but not prices

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February Market Decode

Market Conditions Remain Difficult, but March Deadlines are in Sight

The fine wine market, like the global economy, continues to head towards two of the most potentially adverse headwinds in a decade. Brexit and the Sino-US trade war, now compounded by growing evidence of an economic slowdown in China, continue to make market conditions difficult.

The coming month, however, should prove decisive. March will see deadlines expire for both the partial truce in the trade-war and for the UK to negotiate a deal before crashing out of the EU.

At JF Tobias, we believe that, whatever the outcome in March, there remains robust and strong upside potential in the long-term. However, across the medium and short-term, this potential is far outweighed by the downside risk. Client’s are acting on this advice, and the uncertainty posed by the nearness of these two deadlines. Enquiries to sell by number increased again in January.

If long-term market fundamentals remain positive, March may well prove decisive; whilst May has asked her MP’s to hold their nerve, wine prices may not across the short-term. Either way, confidence should begin to return in place of uncertainty.


Chinese New Year Drives Concentrated Demand

Chinese New Year was celebrated on February the 5th, with this week a public holiday, and banks closed in China. HK merchants stocked up in preparation; vintages from the year of the pig (this year’s zodiac) traded well (83, 95 and 07).

This meant sales confirmed and delivered before Chinese New Year. Rather than increased demand, this was demand shifted and concentrated, and prices remained steady, but on a downward trend overall. Do not be surprised to see HK sale share recede slightly next month in balance. This month, however, it increased as expected, taking share away from the UK and US, as clients remained aggressive in purchasing stock.

This might also represent the beginning of renewed optimism in China, as the government continues to take measures to arrest fear of a slow-down, as well as cautious positivity over progress with the trade talks, with a deal likely to be reached before the truce deadline of March 1st. Optimism buoyed also by a strengthening CNY against the HKD.


Both 2015 and 2016 Bordeaux Vintages Offer Real Investment Potential

Bordeaux has traded heavily in recent weeks, as in bottle scores were released for the 2016 vintage, confirming its quality, and renewing interest across back vintages.

At JF Tobias, we believe there is excellent investment potential in both the 2015 and 16 vintages. Critics scores are as good as 09 and 10, yet they are undervalued in comparison; whilst the 09 fell 8.5% post-release, the 15 has gained 14%, and the 16 3%.
This suggests it offers investors better value for money and strong upside potential in the long-term.

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February 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