Through 2012 to 2013, the monthly movements of the Liv-ex 100 index followed a similar pattern. Optimism in the build-up to En Primeur lifted the market during the first quarter but was dashed following disappointing campaigns. The index went on to fall, closing each year at a lower overall level.
In 2014 this pattern was turned on its head. The 2013 En Primeur campaign was unable to provide a first quarter bounce in 2014 – nonetheless market sentiment began to pick up towards the end of the year, making 2014 the year in reverse. With the direction changed and the pattern broken, the index oscillated on almost a monthly basis in 2015 revealing a discord with previous years.
From the end of 2015 the market took a decisive positive turn. Confidence returned and as the pound started to weaken against both the euro and the dollar prices nudged up. This effect was then amplified after the referendum, when sterling fell further and foreign buyers took the opportunity to stock up. Overall the index gained 24% in 2016, only moving in one direction.
Upward momentum carried through into 2017. However, in April this 16-month streak was brought to a halt, as the pound strengthened, alongside buying easing off in advance of the 2016 EP campaign. Since then month-on-month growth has been largely at the behest of currency fluctuations. Approaching the summer, the strong euro nudged the index up, before the pound strengthened in August and pushed the level down. Recently the resurgent dollar has seen an increased level of activity from Asian buyers.
With two months left to report, the index is up 3.9% year-to-date. Not quite the excitement of 2016, but a slow and steady pace suggesting there is still some momentum in the market.