After the jaw-dropping prices paid at the Lafite Ex-Cellars auction in Hong Kong at the end of October, the Acker Merrall auction held in the region on the 5th and 6th of November represented a return to reality.
The event was a success by all accounts, yielding £7.6 million in sales. Nonetheless, top Bordeaux fetched less extravagent prices, with 12x75cl cases of the First Growths selling at an average of ten percent above their current price on Liv-ex. Interestingly, Lafite played less of a starring role, with buyers paying a mere five percent premium on average.
As we said last week on the blog, extreme price volatility at Hong Kong auction makes it difficult to predict the long-term effect that recent high-profile auctions will have on long-term secondary market pricing. This is clear when comparing Acker auction prices with those seen at the Ex-Cellars auction, where the same vintages of Lafite sold (on average) at more than double the price.
But whilst the First Growths generated less excitement at the Acker sale, a number of Yquem vintages saw strong bidding, with the 1990 realising £3,870 per 12-pack (some 30% more than current market value). As we outlined in a recent blog post, is this a sign that the tide is turning for Sauternes in Asia?