As we highlighted in a previous post, the growing importance of Asia as a market for fine wine is currently a hot topic. Although this trend is something that has been discussed in the trade for a couple of years now, recent news on the abolition of import duty on wine in Hong Kong and a host of reports from London merchants on booming sales, has pushed it to the front of the news agenda.

This week, the stories have kept on coming. Today we hear that a Chinese collector paid £250,000 for 27 bottles of DRC and then further details on Hong Kong’s first fine wine auction this decade.

So, is this demand likely to push fine wine prices even higher? Liv-ex doesn’t have a crystal ball, but as a (rather frivolous) counterpoint to the usual view we thought we’d take a look at some related trends. First we plotted the growth in price of two vintages (’04 and ’05) of one of the Far East’s favourite wines, Carruades de Lafite. (The prevailing wisdom is that many collectors in Asia buy on brand rather than points – and brands don’t come much bigger than Lafite). On the same graph we’ve then put the performance of the Shanghai stock exchange (SSEC), which has dropped rather steeply in recent months. Whether this means Carruades is a buying or selling opportunity we’ll leave up to you…

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