In March 2021, the Pi-eX AMI saw an increase of 12.06% vs previous month (from US$6.83b in February 2021 to US$7.67b in March 2021). The strong positive increase in the Pi-eX AMI this month could reflect the start of a more sustainable recovery phase for the auction market.
Since March 2020, the month when the auction houses were forced to close most of their auction rooms, Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips, have struggled to maintain online and through livestreamed formats a level of trading at auctions equivalent to what they used to deliver in the traditional live format.
A year later, as some auction rooms start to reopen, the auction houses seem ready to capitalize on the extensive restructuring and digital upgrade undergone over the past 12 months.
March 2021 shows that the return of the key marquee sales in London and New York on the traditional auction calendar, combined with the addition of new sales (like the Beeple Sale at Christie’s) or revamped sales (like the Paris Impressionist & Modern evening sale at Sotheby’s) could be the winning formula for the auction houses to not only regain the level of trading they enjoyed before the Covid19 crisis but even propel them to a new level.
Source: Pi-eX AMI Monthly - March 2021