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Stamp Market Commentary

Commentary No. 138 - 17 December, 2010

The 2011 Unitrade Catalogue

The latest Unitrade Catalogue arrived in Montreal in November as usual. The cost at the store remains unchanged from last year at $42.95, plus tax.

Price changes

For a second year in a row, the price changes were modest for the most part, showing little change in number and amount. By contrast, there were three areas where values did increase noticeably and these were in the Edward VII, War Tax and Officially Sealed sets. Not only did their prices increase, but a number of the NH % premiums as well.

We continued to agree with Unitrade that the market is stable and that there is little justification for price changes. What surprises us is that there weren’t more decreases, especially in the modern varieties. We noted that there were only 5 price decreases in this area but these aren’t really reflective of the broad market.

Let’s turn to the price changes. As in recent years, the few increases we show below are not representative of the market which, as mentioned above, shows little change.

Classics Scott 1-20

No changes in stamp prices with the exception of Scott 18b. Interestingly, there were increases in the prices for a number of the stamp covers.


18b
2011 $9,000
2010 $8,000
2009 $8,000


Large Queens Scott 21-33

Increases only for Scott 30c and 30d in used condition.


30c
2011 $2,000
2010 $1,650
2009 $1,650

30d
2011 $8,000
2010 $7,000
2009 $7,000


Small Queens Scott 34-47

Increases only in Scott 43 and 44 and their various shades.


43
2011 $300
2010 $250
2009 $250

44
2011 $350
2010 $300
2009 $300

Early sets

Here is a summary of the price increases for the early sets:

 
Scott
Numbers
2010
Value
2011
Value
Jubilees
50-65
11,520
11,520
Maple Leafs
66-73
1,790
1,870
Numerals
74-84
3,250
3,345
Edward VII
89-95
3,830
4,605
Quebec Tercentenary
96-103
1,550
1,580
Admirals
104-422
1,625
1,750
Scroll
149-159
1,102
1,121
Arch
162-177
858
865
Medallion
195-201
211
231
Pictorial
217-227
225
225

Here are a few examples:

68
2011 $80
2010 $60
2009 $60
90
2011 $85
2010 $70
2009 $65
94
2011 $1,250
2010 $1,000
2009 $1,000

99
2011 $150
2010 $125
2009 $125
115
2011 $60
2010 $50
2009 $50

Modern sets

As was the case last year, very few increases were noted after the 1930s. We noted some increases in a few of the modern gutter strips and starter strips - see for example Scott 1928/1929 and Scott 2009/2010.


Back of the book

This was perhaps the most interesting area, with noticeable increases amongst some of the Registered, War Tax and Officially Sealed sets.

F3
2011 $900
2010 $700
2009 $700
F3a
2011 $1,000
2010 $750
2009 $750

MR2D
2011 $450
2010 $350
2009 $350
MR4c
2011 $2,500
2010 $2,000
2009 $2,000

OX1
2011 $600
2010 $400
2009 $400
OX4
2011 $200
2010 $80
2009 $80

Conclusion

A year ago, we expressed optimism about where things might go economically in 2010 as this usually has an influence on the stamp market. We think everyone would agree that it’s been quite a year, with markets up and markets down. Employment remains one of the key problem areas and government policies to help resolve this problem, that of low interest rates and an abundant money supply, have had little impact but have certainly stabilized things. No one seems to be sure whether we face potential inflation or deflation.

In face of these uncertainties, it should be no surprise that the stamp market lacks any direction. As in the past, demand remains strong for investment grade material and weak for anything else. However, the mood amongst businesses and the general public seems to be positive as we enter 2011 and this should help. Those of us who love stamps can rely on the fact that time spent on our collections helps us get over these trying times, regardless of their values.

To help you understand the changes in this year’s catalogue, we have prepared summaries of the Noticeable Price Increases and New Listings. To review them, please click on the following buttons:

Noticeable Price Increases

New Listings

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