Throughout the China-led bull market, Lafite Rothschild dominated trade on the Exchange: during one week in July 2010 the Chateau represented 48% - nearly half - of all trading activity by value. Prices were flying and in November 2010 Lafite commanded an average of a 130% premium over other First Growths in the secondary market. At that time Lafite 2008, which was released with the Chinese number eight – a symbol of good fortune – etched onto the bottle, was trading for as high as £14,450 per 12x75.
As the chart above shows, activity for Lafite has been declining. Last week, it accounted for just 4% of trade on the market. The Lafite index (composed of the latest 10 physical vintages) has fallen 47% since the peak of the market in July 2011 and its premium on the other Premier Cru has been sliding. Lafite 2008 last traded for £4,900, a 65% drop.
Lafite has not always commanded the highest prices: at the beginning of the 20th century, Haut Brion traded at a 20% premium over other First Growths. In the late 90s, Margaux was the most expensive. Are we beginning to see another shift?
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