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GLOBAL: Fine wine sales hold steady for Christie's

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Sales of fine wine at auction house Christie's during 2009 were broadly level with 2008, as Asia helped to maintain demand during the global economic downturn.

Fine wine sales at Christie's auctions for the 12 months of 2009 were just over US$50m, the group said today (18 December).

Its trading update puts 2009 broadly level with 2008 wine sales, which totalled $50.7m and was the third highest total achieved by the auction house.

Christie's' report suggests fine wine sales have stabilised in 2009, but its own annual sales failed to recapture the buzz of 2007 - when sales hit $72m

"We are delighted with our global sales total for 2009," said David Elswood, head of international wine sales at Christie's.

"We intend to continue and develop this global strategy into 2010 with our first Spring sale in New York on 27 February," he added.

Asia's rise to prominence in the world of fine wine, led by the return of auctions in Hong Kong over the last 12 months, has helped to offset tough market conditions in the recession-hit auction centres of London and New York.

Christie's' top selling lot of 2009 was a 78-bottle range of 1999 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, which sold in Hong Kong on 28 November for $186,000.

Earlier this year, Christie's rival Sotheby's named Hong Kong its most lucrative auction venue for fine wine.

The live-ex 100 Fine Wine Index, a stockmarket exclusively for fine wine, shows that value plummeted in autumn 2008, following the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the onset of the financial crisis.

It has since recovered around half of this lost ground.

Last week, just-drinks reported on Diageo's decision to pull out of the Bordeaux wine futures market in the US


Sectors: Wine

Companies: Diageo

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