The Liv-ex 1000 index fell slightly in December (-0.65%) to close on 348.13. Additionally, the index finished 2019 down 4.19%, following a series of difficulties – US tariffs on European wines, Hong Kong dissension, and UK political ambiguity – faced by the wine market.
The Liv-ex 100 and Liv-ex Fine Wine 50 also drifted in December, with the former nudging marginally lower (- 0.6%).
The month also saw the Conservatives win a large majority in the UK general election thus allowing Brexit uncertainties to fade for the moment. Consequently, Sterling strengthened against the Dollar and Euro.
It was a steady month for the Liv-ex 1000 sub-indices: all of which stayed within ±1% of the previous months close, apart from the Burgundy 150, which was down 1.62%.
The Champagne 50 and Italy 100, currently unaffected by US tariffs, were the two triumphs of the month, posting marginal gains and closing out 2019 up 2.25% and 4.70% respectively.
However, in December the US proposed upping their existing tariffs to 100% on all EU wines. The untouched areas of Champagne and Italy would no longer be void of tariffs, instead becoming level with the rest of the EU. The fight for wine has begun with US lobbyists encouraging the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to exclude wine from the trade disputes.