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Fine wine’s rally slows as Sterling strengthens

  • The Liv-ex 100 index dipped 0.5% in October.
  • A stronger Sterling put the brakes on the market’s rally.
  • Champagnes led October’s best-performing wines.

*made using the Liv-ex Charting Tool.

The Liv-ex Fine Wine 100 index declined 0.5% in October, closing the month at 422.06. It is just the second time the benchmark index has dipped this year (the first time was in July). The index is up 7.5% year-to-date.

The Liv-ex Fine Wine 50, which tracks the price performance of the Bordeaux First Growths, also dipped 0.7%, closing at 408.63.

After a subdued July and August, the market rallied in September thanks to the rising strength of the US Dollar.

Sterling suffered through a short but rocky period in British politics. An ill-received mini-budget ended with the sacking the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Kwasi Kwarteng, and eventually the resignation of Prime Minister Lizz Truss, ushering in Rishi Sunak as the third Prime Minister in three months.

But the worst of the storm appears to be over. From a historic low of US$1.07 to the pound on 26th September, the exchange rate stood at $1.15 to the pound on 31st October.

As can be seen in the chart below, the price of wine in Dollar and Euro terms trended upwards in October, reducing the buying power of those currencies.

Overall, the performance of the fine wine secondary market remains stable given the circumstances. However, the headwinds remain strong. For example, UK interest rates experienced an historic hike this week with warnings of a ‘prolonged recession’ and with the Dollar losing some of its edge versus a stronger Sterling, buyer reticence seems to be rising.

October’s top performers

Champagnes dominated last month’s top performers. Three quarters of the index’s Champagne components rose in price in October. By contrast the opposite was true of Bordeaux, where three quarters of the components declined in value.

The big risers included Pol Roger’s Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill 2010 and Bollinger’s La Grande Année 2012.

There were also two vintages of Dom Pérignon, with the 2008 and 2010 both seeing gains in October. The 2008 has seen the most consistent trade throughout the year and risen in price 27.2%.

What is the Liv-ex 100 index?    

The Liv-ex Fine Wine 100 Index is the industry leading benchmark. It represents the price movement of 100 of the most sought-after fine wines on the world’s most active and liquid marketplace from France, Italy, USA, Australia and Spain. Stretching back over 20 years, the Liv-ex 100 is quoted on Bloomberg and Reuters screens.   

All Liv-ex indices are calculated using our Mid Price; the mid-point between the highest live bid and lowest live offer on the market. These are the firm commitments to buy and sell at that price; transactional data rather than list prices. It represents the actual trading activity of 600 of the world’s leading fine wine merchants. Because Liv-ex doesn’t itself trade, this data is truly independent and reliable.   

Not a member of Liv-ex? Request a demo to see the exchange and a member of our team will be in touch with you shortly.   



Liv-ex analysis is drawn from the world’s most comprehensive database of fine wine prices. The data reflects the real time activity of Liv-ex’s 600 merchant members from across the globe. Together they represent the largest pool of liquidity in the world – currently £80m of bids and offers across 16,000 wines. Independent data, direct from the market.