U.S. tops Hong Kong at auction in Q2

Auction sales in the U.S. have exceeded that of Hong Kong for the first time since 2010, Wine Spectator reported today. U.S. auction totals rose from $41.2 million in the second quarter of 2011 to $45.3 million in the same time period this year. The volume of Hong Kong’s sales fell, and its totals within this period subsequently dropped from $62.7 million to just under $35 million.

Charles Curtis, Christie’s head of wine for Asia, highlighted that Burgundy, white Bordeaux and Italian wines are all performing well in Hong Kong, despite the general market gloom.  All trends we have  highlighted in recent months on the blog (see here, here and here).   

It is interesting to note that the Spectator states that Bordeaux pricing has only fallen 4% quarter over quarter at auction.  It would seem clear, however, that the First Growths have fallen in price on an individual basis far further than this that. If we look at the Liv-ex Claret Chip Auction Index (which tracks prices for high-scoring Firsts from 1995 onwards), the fall is more than double this at 10.5%.  Interestingly, when calculated using the Liv-ex Mid Price, the fall is almost exactly the same at 11.1%.


The below table shows the risers and fallers at auction this year for the 33 wines in the Claret Chip Index.  Three of the wines have seen their average auction price increase during 2012, while vintages of Lafite – once a huge success in Asian markets – have suffered the sharpest declines.