July 2021 marked a return to the traditional summer break of the public auction market, after an unusually busy summer 2020 due to the pandemic.
In July 2021, the Pi-eX AMI decreased 12.23% vs previous month, from US$11.34 billion in June 2021 to US$9.95 billion. The expected decrease is mostly explained by the return to a more traditional summer pace of the public auction calendar, after an incredibly busy summer 2020, when June and July 2020 were packed with postponed Marquee sales and additional auctions.
Reading between the lines of the summer stillness in July 2021 nevertheless brings some interesting information on the state of the public auction market after the pandemic: online-only auctions, bringing historically only marginal revenue counted for almost a third of the July 2021 revenue, thanks to new additional sales. The importance of Key Marquee Live sales should however not be discounted as shown by Christie’s higher revenue in July 2021. The auction house in fact generated more revenue with fewer sales, thanks to a very successful Old Masters Live evening auction in London. At the same time, the public auction market is less and less polarized around the US and the UK, as new sales in other locations made most of the growth vs July 2019.
Pi-eX July 2021 AMI Monthly report details what drove the change in the Pi-eX AMI in July and suggests two scenarios for the coming months.