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Sunday, April 27, 2014

General Commentary: Is the PRC Stamp Market Bottoming Out?



It's been about 2 years since I last updated my survey of market values for popular issues of the People's Republic of China. After having taken a precipitous fall between August of 2011 and June of 2012, the market's calmed somewhat.
Happy Patriotic
Farm Worker in
the People's Republic's
Socialist Utopia
Cheerfully Displays
His Little Red
Stamp Album (JK)


In a March, 2010 StampSelector blog article ("General Commentary - the Bull in the China Shop"), I commented on the dramatic price increases for P.R.C. material, and noted buy prices for several souvenir sheets and Cultural Revolution issues. In a second article (General Commentary - Has the Bull in the China Shop Met Its Matador?), I discussed the rumors of a softening of the Chinese stamp market in January, commenting that at that time, buy prices for key items had remained strong. A third (General Commentary - Has the Bull in the China Shop Become Ground Beef?) commented on the dramatic fall in values. I've re-listed the items surveyed below, along with current buy prices.

(Prices are for VF NH):

1958 Kuan Han-ching s/s (Scott #357a):

2004: $ 65.00
2006: $ 75.00
2007: $ 85.00
2008: $ 130.00
March, 2010: $ 215.00 ; April, 2010: $ 340.00
September, 2011: $ 650.00
January, 2012: $660.00
June, 2012: $ 525.00 
April, 2014: $ 500.00


1961 Table Tennis s/s (Scott #566a):

2004: $ 180.00
2206: $ 225.00
2007: $ 225.00
2008: $ 275.00
March, 2010: $ 800.00; April,2010: $ 1,180.00
August, 2011: $ 1,500.00
January, 2012: $ 1,400.00
June, 2012: $ 1,100.00
April, 2014: $ 950.00



1962 Mei Lan-fang s/s (Scott #628):

2004: $ 1,800.00
2006: $ 2,500.00
2007: $ 3,000.00
March, 2010: $ 10,000.00; April, 2010: $ 11,000.00
August, 2011: $ 25,000.00
January, 2012: $ 25,000.00
June, 2012: $ 22,500.00
April, 2014: $ 20,000.00

1964 Peonies s/s (Scott #782):

2004: $ 400.00
2006: $ 500.00
2007: $ 500.00
March, 2010: $ 2,000.00; April, 2010: $ 3,650.00
August, 2011: $ 3,750.00
January, 2012: $ 4,100.00
June, 2012: $ 2,600.00
April, 2014: $ 2,300.00

1967 Thoughts of Chairman Mao- unfolded strip of 5 (Scott #948a):

2004: $ 325.00
2006: $ 750.00
2007: $ 750.00
March, 2010: $ 2,500.00; April, 2010: $ 3,300.00
August, 2011: $ 5,000.00
January, 2012: $ 8,000.00
June, 2012: $ 6,000.00
April, 2014: $ 5,000.00

1967-68 Poems by Chairman Mao (Scott #967-80):

2004: $ 475.00
2006: $ 800.00
2007: $ 800.00
2008: $ 1,300.00
March, 2010: $ 2,200.00; April, 2010: $ 3,000.00
September, 2011: $ 4,275.00
January, 2012: $ 5,350.00
June, 2012: $ 3,500.00
April, 2014: $ 3,250.00

1968: "The Entire Nation is Red" (Scott #999A):


2004: $ 8,000.00
2006: $ 10,000.00
2007: $ 10,000.00
March, 2010: $ $ 60,000.00; April, 2010: $ 75,000.00
September, 2011: $ 150,000.00
January, 2012: $ 170,000.00
June, 2012: $ 125,000.00
April, 2014: $ 120,000.00

1978 Science Conference s/s (Scott #1383a):

2004: $ 140.00
2006: $ 150.00
2007: $ 160.00
March, 2010: $ 400.00; April, 2010: $ 490.00
August, 2011: $ 550.00
January, 2012: $ 540.00
June, 2012: $ 500.00
April, 2014: $ 450.00

1979 Study Science s/s (Scott #1518):
CHINA 1979 T 41 Study Science "Souvenir Sheet" MINT


2006: $ 510.00
March, 2010: $ 1,600.00; April, 2010: $1,950.00
August, 2011: $ 2,350.00
January, 2012: $ 2,300.00
June, 2012: $ 1,800.00
April, 2014: $ 1,700.00

1980 Year of the Monkey (Scott #1586):

2004: $ 100.00
2006: $ 215.00
2007: $ 200.00
March, 2010: $ 800.00; April, 2010: $975.00
August, 2011: $ 1,600.00
January, 2012: $ 1,550.00
June, 2012: 1,500.00
April, 2014: 1,400.00

The declines in buy prices for these key items have averaged just over 5.7% for the last 2 years. The pace of decline has slowed significantly, and it's possible that the market values of better PRC stamps are nearing their bottom. Note that this selection of stamps is not representative of the PRC stamp market as a whole, anddoesn't take into account fluctuations which may have occurred on a shorter term basis, or during months for which buy prices were not noted.

My feeling is that the most likely scenario for the People's Republic will be an economic resurgence, and buy prices for its better stamps and souvenir sheets that will well exceed the highs of 2011. However, though China is still in its "wonder years", it has a large number of rather ugly warts, and it is possible that some of them could develop into tumors.

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