Fine wine has been looking robust compared to several other financial assets and physical commodities so far this year.
In 2016, the Liv-ex Fine Wine 50 index, which tracks the daily price movements of the ten most recent vintages of the Bordeaux First Growths, has gained 2.01% while the FTSE 100 is down 9.1%, the S&P 500 is down 9.4% and oil has plummeted 25.9%. However, it is still early days: the fine wine market has seen several strong Januarys and gone on to decline later in the year.
Still, there are some positive indicators in the background. On Tuesday, the index reached a new high for 2016, closing at 270.87. This is its highest level since July 2015.
While recent buying has been helped by currency moves – a weaker Sterling against the Euro and the Dollar encouraging European, US and Asian merchants to buy – UK merchants have been able to lift prices and the increases have held.
The technical picture also looks supportive of the recent uptrend.
At the beginning of January, the 20 day SMA (simple moving average) crossed the 50 day SMA, and momentum has built since the crossover. As can be seen from the graph, the 20 day SMA has also acted as a support level since the move higher.
Over the longer term it is important to remember that the index is still trading in the tight range it established after hitting a previous low in August 2014. Over the past eighteen months, the Fine Wine 50 Index level has remained between 262 and 272.
Whether it can maintain this momentum and break above the 272 level remains to be seen.