Posted: Wed Jun 28, 2006 12:57 am Post subject: New Shetland Island Distillery plans online whisky futures
A distiller based in the Shetland Islands is poised to launch what is believed to be the world's first online whisky futures trading platform.
Blackwood Distillers, a spirits group that is converting an abandoned RAF base into a distillery on Unst, the UK's most northerly island, is hoping to have the system in operation by the end of next month.
Set up by New York hedge fund managers in conjunction with Blackwood, the platform will allow traders and customers to buy and sell options on the whisky distilled on Unst.
Although similar futures trading of fine wines is a booming business, with Farr Vinters, the UK wine traders, believing it will sell £20m worth of Bordeaux futures this year, the trading of whisky futures or options is largely uncharted territory.
The principle of how the whisky will be traded is similar to the en primeur system of wine trading, in which customers buy maturing wine before it is bottled.
Cask samples of wines are made available for tasting to journalists and large wholesale buyers in the spring following the vintage. The brokers and merchants sell on the wine to their cus-tomers.
In general it is not bottled or shipped until about two years later.
Source: The Telegraph Newspaper "www.telegraph.co.uk"
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