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Published:  23 July, 2008

By Pierre Spahni

A powerful instrument for reducing exposure to increased volatility in wine prices has been launched by Euronext the merged exchange between Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris under the name Winefex Bordeaux. The world's first wine futures contracts are based on five cases of identical bottles of fine Bordeaux reds, for delivery in November 2002 (for the 2000 vintage) and November 2003 (2001). Further contracts will open in July each year, before harvest, for maturity 28.5 months later (eg, in July 2002 for delivery in November 2004). Some 140 labels have qualified for trading many of which stem from the 1855 classifications in three price segments, with a price history en primeur of at least two years. The appeal of premium Bordeaux wines to financial investors will be crucial for the viability of wine derivatives over the longer term. Should these first futures contracts prove successful, Euronext would extend them to other types of French and foreign wines.