December was not the typical wind down into festive cheer for the fine wine industry.
Much of Europe went into deeper levels of lockdown, closing large swathes of the on trade.
The US imposed new 25% tariffs on EU imports, which will come into effect 12 January. Wines previously untouched from the tariffs, those below 14% abv, will now be included. Wines from Champagne and Italy remain tariff free.
Brexit was finally completed at 23:00 GMT 31 December. While there is much relief that a trade deal has been struck, the effects of the increased paperwork (and the associated costs) are yet to be fully realised.
Despite the headwinds the fine wine market remained stable. The Liv-ex Fine Wine 100 rose 0.75% to close at 318.99 – touching a nine year high. The index finished 2020 up 5.4%.
With fewer trading days than average, the market saw a decline in distinct wines traded – the first decline since May. This said, the value and volume of wines traded hit all-time highs for the month of December, suggesting demand continues to remain robust.