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James’ annual letter to members – December 2021

By November 29, 2021Member updates

As we approach the end of 2021, I want to thank you for your continued support and update you on recent and future changes to the Liv-ex product and pricing.

The last year has been both buoyant and challenging for the wine market. The Liv-ex marketplace is broader, deeper, and more liquid than it’s ever been. In the last two years alone, the value of live opportunities and the number of wines regularly being traded have more than doubled, the number of members has reached an all-time high of 560 across more than 40 countries and there are 80% more trades happening every day on average.

Despite the many geopolitical challenges that we have all faced in the last few years with Covid, Brexit, and related supply disruptions, the platform has remained open for business. In our customer survey in the Spring, logistics was an area that you told us to focus on, and we are. Trades in Q3 were settled 2.5 days faster on average than they were in Q1, but like you, we are feeling the impact of higher energy costs, driver shortages, and rising administration costs associated with increased friction at the border. For this reason, our settlement fees will be rising by 5% next year to accommodate this endemic inflation in the global supply chain. Full logistics prices are available here. 

In addition to the substantial investments that we have made in our logistics network, we have focused this year on expanding our written Insights and building new tools to help you keep track of what’s going on in the market. This includes the new “Your List” feature to show you trading opportunities against the wines that you hold in stock, the “Charting Tool” which lets you create and share powerful charts with your customers, and “Indices Explorer” which helps you to analyse and trade the wines that are driving market movements. From the New Year, when the current trial period ends, the Charting Tool will only be available to Gold and Black package members, but Your List and Indices Explorer will be available to all users.

To reflect this investment, we are looking to increase the membership fee for Bronze users to £240/€290/US$330/HK$2,595 per month and the commission rate to 3%. The subscription price for Gold members is rising to £750/€900/US$1,050/HK$8,100 per month, as is the data allowance (by 50%) to accommodate additional usage of the new Charting Tool and a host of other new web services/ APIs, including commodity codes, ABV values, critic scores etc. All other prices will remain the same. You can view the structure of all the new packages and prices here. If you have any questions about these changes and which might be the best package for you, please do not hesitate to contact your Account Manager.

 In 2022, we will continue to improve our back-office service, especially around logistics by standardising the services that we offer across our increasingly global distribution network, extending our delivery services into new countries, and increasing the frequency of collections. For our non-EU buyers, we want to build more flexibility into our services as to which wines to ship and which to store for future re-sale. We will extend foreign currency trading to Hong Kong Dollars for the first time (we already offer trading in GBP, EUR, and USD) and improve our trading notifications with a new alert to let you know when you’ve been outbid or under offered. Following feedback from members, we are currently also scoping out how Wine Matcher, LWIN, and Market Price can be more effective and deliver greater efficiencies to your daily activities. These projects go to the heart of our offering and we expect any changes to add substantial value to your user experience.

On behalf of all at Liv-ex, may I thank you again for your support in the last year and, if it is not too early, to wish you a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.  

Best wishes,  

James Miles