Fine wine prices in 2019: merchants’ predictions vs reality

By January 16, 2020Burgundy, Fine Wine Market, Italy

Chart showing merchants predictions versus reality for the Liv-ex 100 index

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 at year end.

On average, Liv-ex members predicted that the industry benchmark would increase by 5.47% in 2019 to close on 319.12. In reality, the index dipped 3.04% to close on 302.56.

Most merchants expected the market to increase in 2019, with 62.5% predicting that the index would go up. The highest estimate was for a closing level of 395.10. One pessimist guessed 264.38, the lowest estimate.

This year’s winner predicted that the index would close on 301.78, just 0.78 points off its actual closing level. They are now the proud owner of a magnum of Grand Puy Lacoste 2005.

Chart showing the ranges of merchant predictions for the Liv-ex 100 index in 2019

This year we also asked merchants to predict the top three performing sub-indices of the Liv-ex 1000. As the chart below shows, the majority of merchants predicted that the Burgundy 150 would be the best-performer, with 68% picking it as their first choice.

As our report on the fine wine market in 2019 highlighted, the market faced numerous headwinds that impacted prices. The Burgundy 150 closed the year down 8.76% – making it the worst performing sub-index. The best-performing sub-index was the Italy 100 (+4.7%), followed by the Champagne 50 (+2.25%). All the other Liv-ex 1000 sub-indices failed to end the year in positive territory.

Chart showing merchant predictions for the Liv-ex 1000 sub-indices in 2019

Liv-ex members represent the largest pool of professional fine wine traders in the world. Its 475-strong member base is estimated to account for 95% of fine wine turnover globally.