Investment performance of rare Scotch dips for first time
The investment performance of rare Scotch dipped during the first six months of the year, the first such recorded half year decline, according to new analysis.
According to figures published by whisky analyst, broker and investment experts Rare Whisky 101, the value of the broadest measurement of the market, the Apex 1000 index, crystallised its first ever half year loss, dropping by 0.26%. This compares with an increase of 9.91% during the same period last year.
Reasons for the decline, set out in Rare Whisky 101’s 2019 Half Year Report, include over supply of whisky during the early months of 2019, the continued proliferation of new-start whisky auction-houses, and a decline in the performance of the Macallan – the secondary market’s most dominant distillery by both volume and value.
While Scotch whisky has underperformed against other markets and traditional investments throughout the first half of 2019, including FTSE 100, Brent Crude, and Gold, it has still significantly outperformed those very same asset classes over the mid to long term, having increased 160% from December 2014.
Elsewhere in the latest report from RW101, Springbank has claimed top spot as the number one distillery in the investor rankings, closely followed by silent distilleries Brora and Glenugie. The Macallan’s late 2018 dip continued as it moved from 4th at the end of 2018 to 7th by the end of June 2019.
While the rare whisky market recorded a dip in investment performance, the number of bottles of Single Malt Scotch whisky sold at auction in the UK in H1 2019 increased by 43.90% to 71,544 (49,719 were sold in H1 2018).
The £ value of collectable bottles of Single Malt Scotch whisky sold at auction in the UK in H1 2019 rose by 58.39% to a record high of £25,873,963 (H1 2018 value was £16,335,635).
While the average per-bottle price is up in H1 2019 (£361.65) compared to H1 2018 (£328.56), it dropped 4.30% from December 2018’s record high of £377.91.
Andy Simpson, whisky investment analyst and co-founder of Rare Whisky 101, said: “On the back of ten subsequent years of growth in the investment performance of rare whisky, we have seen an oversupply of bottles, the continued proliferation of specialist whisky auction houses, and a record amount of money spent at auction all combine to produce the rare whisky investment market’s first ‘blip’ since we started reporting these results.
“However, collectors, investors and buyers would be well advised to note the dip. At this stage we do not believe it indicates the start of a longer-term downward trend. In fact, looking the last three months of H1 alone (April to June) the Apex 1000 index returned to slightly more significant growth of 1.29%, moving from 825.92 points to 836.55.
“While the broader market might be showing some signs of stress, there are plenty of pockets of growth for those who do their research and time their market entry/exit well: as with all investments. For example, in contrast to the Macallan’s secondary market woes, Springbank has turned in an incredible performance, claiming top spot in the investor rankings for the first time.
“We remain confident that the right bottles from the right distilleries will continue to offer a strong investment proposition. In fact our later than usual reporting of the half year figures has allowed us to see growth return to the market as the supply/demand equation has re-balanced. However, continued uncertainty over the UK’s post-Brexit future makes it very difficult to predict how the market will perform in the latter months of 2019.”