Rare whisky makes a strong recovery and is set for record year

Rare whisky makes a strong recovery and is set for record year

Rare Whisky 101 predicts that rare whisky market for 2021 is set to break all previous records

News | 21 Sep 2021

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New figures released last Friday by whisky analyst, broker and investment experts Rare Whisky 101 predict that the rare whisky market will break all previous records in 2021, following a strong first six months of the year.

The first half of 2021 has seen nearly 85,000 bottles of single malt Scotch whisky traded on the secondary market with a value of more than £36 million. Based on the current rate of growth, Rare Whisky 101 expects the full year for 2021 to reach 172,500 of bottles traded, an increase of 19.88 per cent on 2019’s record (143,895 bottles). The value of these bottles is predicted at £75 million, an increase of 29.97 per cent on 2019’s record (£57,707,707).

Whisky investment analyst and co-founder of Rare Whisky 101 Andy Simpson commented: “After an inevitable dip in volume supply following the double impact of Covid-19 and Brexit, the secondary market for rare whisky is, once again, set to smash all records....we see no reason why prices will not continue to rise for the right bottles.”

Rare whisky and Covid-19

As with other physical asset classes, trading in the rare whisky market was subdued by a succession of lockdowns during 2020. The overall number of recorded bottles of single malt Scotch whisky sold at auction in the UK in 2020 decreased slightly compared to 2019, while the recorded value decreased by 7.47 per cent.

However, the market experienced a typically v-shaped recovery following the easing of the first lockdown in the UK, with November and December 2020 breaking records from the perspective of volume of bottles sold. Figures for May 2021 once again raised that bar.

Meanwhile, the average per-bottle price declined by 2.55 per cent from £401.04 in 2019 to £390.81 in 2020 and has quickly re-bounded to £426.58 at 30 June 2021 — a new record. Overall, popularity is increasing in the more affordable sub-£1,000 segment.

Broad investment values remain strong as Apex 1000 rises

After two years of relatively flat growth, Rare Whisky 101’s broadest measurement of the market, the Apex 1000 Index, closed the half-year 2021 up 9.06 per cent. The full-year estimate of growth in investment values is put at 17.5 per cent.

Springbank retained its number one position from an investor’s perspective. On the other hand, The Macallan slipped 17 places to number 28. Said Simpson, “We believe that the sheer volume of non-age-stated releases may have confused the market, potentially leading collectors and investors to seek out other brands. However, it’s worth noting that the recent Macallan Red collection is a great example of where the brand works very well, leveraging the value of its aged stocks.”

Rare whisky vs alternative assets

Over an 18-month extended period, the Apex 1000 fractionally edged ahead of gold by 0.03 per cent, regaining its number one spot in Rare Whisky 101’s alternative asset rankings. Scotch whisky’s leading performance in this area has been comfortably cemented over an extended six and a half years since the end of 2014, having achieved 225 per cent growth compared to 50 per cent growth for gold.

Simpson warns, "There are still some high-value re-fills and fakes creeping into the market, so constant vigilance is required. We’re also seeing stress in the high value (>£5,000) segment of the market and have seen bottles selling recently for around 50% of their 2018/2019 high points.”

For more information or to download the full report click here.
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