Andy Simpson

Monthly Whisky Market Watch by Andy Simpson – June 29, 2020


Rare Whisky Investment Update to 31st May 2020

The headline has to be the continued positive momentum in the Apex 1000 Index for the first five months of the year. Compared with a 1.09% loss over the same timeframe in 2019; 2020 looks particularly positive with investment growth of 4.16%. Encouragingly, through peak lock-down months, both April and May yielded increases of 0.32% and 0.59% respectively.


Supply and Demand

As many whisky auction houses have cancelled/postponed their most recent auctions, supply levels have dropped dramatically. While the number of bottles being sold on the open market has declined, the £ value of those bottles has been far less severely impacted. Demand is still clearly evident.

Average per-bottle prices have continued to increase month on month and appear to be accelerating through May.


Investment Comparison

Actual gold continues to outpace liquid-gold on a 2020 year to date basis. While Scotch whisky seems able to weather an economic storm with little volatility, it will have less/zero significant ‘bounce’ as might be expected with more traditional markets. Equally when traditional markets start to return to more normal trading conditions, gold typically loses it’s lustre. This seems to suggest there is stability in Scotch.


Market Share

We’re presenting the volume and value market share data slightly differently. The tables below are on a cumulative year-to-date basis for both volume and value so they provide an ongoing picture of which distilleries are more/less important in the secondary market.

Market Share - VOLUME

JANUARY FEBRUARY MARCH APRIL MAY
Distillery % Market YTD - Volume Distillery % Market YTD - Volume Distillery % Market YTD - Volume Distillery % Market YTD - Volume Distillery % Market YTD - Volume
1 Macallan 16.16% Macallan 16.67% Macallan 16.82% Macallan 16.59% Macallan 16.87%
2 Ardbeg 4.75% Ardbeg 4.48% Ardbeg 4.68% Ardbeg 4.76% Ardbeg 4.84%
3 Highland Park 4.48% Bowmore 3.38% Highland Park 3.76% Highland Park 3.97% Highland Park 3.99%
4 Glendronach 4.29% Laphroaig 3.21% Laphroaig 3.30% Laphroaig 3.38% Laphroaig 3.27%
5 Lagavulin 3.68% Lagavulin 3.20% Glendronach 3.21% Bowmore 3.22% Bowmore 3.21%
6 Springbank 3.59% Highland Park 2.95% Springbank 3.18% Glendronach 3.06% Springbank 3.08%
7 Laphroaig 3.17% Springbank 2.94% Bowmore 3.16% Springbank 3.05% Glendronach 3.01%
8 Bowmore 2.96% Glendronach 2.44% Lagavulin 3.12% Lagavulin 2.99% Lagavulin 2.90%
9 Glenfarclas 2.44% Bruichladdich 2.23% Bruichladdich 2.33% Glenfarclas 2.29% Glenfiddich 2.30%
10 Glenfiddich 2.38% Glenlivet 2.22% Glenfarclas 2.25% Glenfiddich 2.28% Bruichladdich 2.26%
11 Bruichladdich 2.21% Glenfarclas 2.21% Glenfiddich 2.20% Bruichladdich 2.24% Glenfarclas 2.26%
12 Glenmorangie 2.21% Glenfiddich 2.19% Glenmorangie 2.02% Glenmorangie 1.92% Glenmorangie 1.93%
13 Arran 2.15% Glenmorangie 2.13% Arran 1.89% Glenlivet 1.87% Glenlivet 1.90%
14 Balvenie 1.68% Arran 1.84% Glenlivet 1.88% Arran 1.84% Arran 1.81%
15 Glenlivet 1.68% Balvenie 1.70% Balvenie 1.75% Bunnahabhain 1.72% Balvenie 1.76%
16 Bunnahabhain 1.60% Bunnahabhain 1.67% Bunnahabhain 1.71% Balvenie 1.71% Bunnahabhain 1.69%
17 Aberlour 1.53% Talisker 1.57% Caol Ila 1.56% Caol Ila 1.56% Caol Ila 1.53%
18 Caol Ila 1.50% Dalmore 1.55% Talisker 1.38% Talisker 1.37% Aberlour 1.36%
19 Clynelish 1.25% Caol Ila 1.49% Aberlour 1.38% Aberlour 1.35% Talisker 1.34%
20 Bruich. (Octo) 1.17% Aberlour 1.41% Clynelish 1.27% Clynelish 1.27% Clynelish 1.27%

Market Share - £ VALUE

JANUARY FEBRUARY MARCH APRIL MAY
Distillery % Market YTD - Value Distillery % Market YTD - Value Distillery % Market YTD - Value Distillery % Market YTD - Value Distillery % Market YTD - Value
1 Macallan 42.08% Macallan 46.43% Macallan 44.64% Macallan 43.34% Macallan 41.95%
2 Bowmore 6.96% Bowmore 6.78% Bowmore 7.02% Bowmore 7.27% Bowmore 7.45%
3 Ardbeg 4.56% Springbank 4.49% Springbank 3.78% Springbank 3.74% Dalmore 3.94%
4 Highland Park 3.33% Ardbeg 3.67% Ardbeg 3.68% Ardbeg 3.66% Springbank 3.66%
5 Glendronach 3.21% Highland Park 2.50% Highland Park 2.41% Highland Park 2.37% Ardbeg 3.61%
6 Lagavulin 2.89% Glendronach 2.22% Glendronach 2.16% Glendronach 2.08% Highland Park 2.29%
7 Springbank 2.70% Lagavulin 2.03% Glenfarclas 2.05% Glenfarclas 2.06% Laphroaig 2.15%
8 Port Ellen 2.13% Glenfarclas 1.84% Lagavulin 1.96% Lagavulin 2.03% Glenfarclas 2.01%
9 Laphroaig 2.08% Port Ellen 1.77% Port Ellen 1.90% Port Ellen 1.91% Port Ellen 2.00%
10 Glenfarclas 2.05% Laphroaig 1.60% Laphroaig 1.78% Laphroaig 1.90% Glendronach 1.93%
11 Balvenie 1.47% Balvenie 1.29% Dalmore 1.51% Dalmore 1.86% Lagavulin 1.78%
12 Glenfiddich 1.37% Dalmore 1.22% Balvenie 1.42% Balvenie 1.53% Glenfiddich 1.44%
13 Bunnahabhain 1.18% Glenfiddich 1.06% Brora 1.14% Brora 1.32% Balvenie 1.32%
14 Brora 1.14% Brora 0.98% Glenfiddich 1.13% Glenfiddich 1.24% Brora 1.29%
15 Caol Ila 0.91% Bunnahabhain 0.89% Bunnahabhain 1.02% Bunnahabhain 0.98% Bruichladdich 0.97%
16 Bruichladdich 0.89% Bruichladdich 0.83% Bruichladdich 0.96% Bruichladdich 0.98% Clynelish 0.93%
17 Dalmore 0.80% Clynelish 0.81% Clynelish 0.93% Clynelish 0.95% Bunnahabhain 0.93%
18 Mortlach 0.78% Glen Grant 0.80% Glenlivet 0.85% Glenlivet 0.87% Rosebank 0.86%
19 Glenmorangie 0.78% Mortlach 0.79% Rosebank 0.84% Rosebank 0.85% Glenlivet 0.86%
20 Rosebank 0.75% Glenlivet 0.78% Mortlach 0.82% Mortlach 0.83% Talisker 0.80%

The cumulative picture will smooth out any month on month peaks or troughs for particular distilleries as the year progresses.

It’s evident that Macallan are remaining consistent with more than 16% of the volume market share and over 40% of the £ value market share. While investment values for certain bottles might be re-tracing, there is simply no denying Macallan’s dominance of the secondary market for rare/collectable whisky.


Summary

For the moment, rare Scotch whisky remains highly sought after. We continue to receive many fresh enquiries for both bottles and casks.

With open market supply diminishing in the short to medium term we still see demand remaining strong.

As an investment, to date, rare whisky has managed to ride the current lockdown-storm exceptionally well. I’m sure a few well-timed open bottles have helped many of us in other ways as well.. Cheers!

As the world moves into new uncharted economic territory for many industries, we still maintain our viewpoint for rare whisky as ‘cautious optimism’.

Be well, stay safe.

All the very best.

Andy & David



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