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September 8, 2011

A Sour August for Oenophiles, says Mark Bedini of Fine+Rare

By Spear's

Following a poor August for the Liv-Ex fine wine index, which declined by 4 per cent, Mark Bedini of wine traders Fine+Rare says even Asian buyers are staying away, and that it will take a strong uptick in the economy for Western ones to return

Following a poor August for the Liv-Ex fine wine index, which declined by 4 per cent, Mark Bedini of wine traders Fine+Rare says even Asian buyers are staying away, and that it will take a strong uptick in the economy for Western ones to return.

‘August was used by everyone who is interested in buying wine as a holiday. Previously we found some of our Asian buyers were buying throughout the holiday. Charts of the best of the best prices have come off a bit at the top, but there’s still demand, it’s just plateauing.’

Asian demand for fine wine may have been too bullishly stated. In Hong Kong, the global capital for fine wine auctions, a record was set for a single lot (300 bottles of Chateau Lafite for £540,000), but this was beneath the estimate.

‘The question is, “Who’s drinking Lafite?” It’s not clear to us that anyone in the western world is consuming it. It’s so expensive that maybe people are buying it for speculative reasons.

‘Perhaps there will be a surge if stock markets return.’

Fine+Rare, which won the Queen’s Award for International Trade in 2011, last year sold £53 million of wine in 63 countries.

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