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Stamp Market Commentary

Commentary No. 161 - 17 December, 2012

The 2013 Unitrade Catalogue

Once again, the latest Unitrade catalogue arrived in Montreal in the month of November. We took it home and poured over the contents with great interest. Then we put it down beside last year's catalogue and began our study of the changes.

Price changes

As mentioned in the past, the catalogue contains a vast amount of information printed on over 550 pages. A very rough estimate is that there could be as many as 7000 mint and 7000 used prices and to that could be added the prices for the covers.
How many price increases did we find? Not many! This is just like last year. Very roughly, we found about 60 increases of note. There may have been more but these would have been minor. Of the 60, only 2 also increased last year. Also, of the 60, only 7 were for regular stamps. The rest of the increases were for varieties. Most of the increases were for stamps issued before 1935.

Here is a brief overview of the price changes:

Classics (Scott 1 – 20)
Few changes in prices except 8b, 9iii, 15vi, vii and viii (covers) and 17d.

2012 $13,500
2013 $15,000
2012 $6,000
2013 $12,000

Large Queens (Scott 21 – 33)              
No changes except 24c and 27d, both of which are bisected covers

2012 $5,000
2013 $6,500

Small Queens (Scott 34–47)
Changes were found for 34b, 35c, 35vi, 36vii, 40e, 40i, 43vi, 44xx, 45iv and 45v.

2012 $1,100
2013 $1,400
2012 $3,000
2013 $4,000

Jubilees (Scott 50-65)              
Changes were found for 52, 52i, 53, 54 and 54i.

2012 $35
2013 $45
2012 $25
2013 $30

Maple Leafs              
No changes 

Changes were for 76iv only

Edward VII
No changes 

Quebec Tercentenary              
No changes 

Changes for 105, 106ix, 112iii, 126c, 128ai and 132 

2012 $100
2013 $120

No changes 

Other Early Sets              
Only one change of note:

Broken “X” Imperforate Pair

2013 $
2012 $

Changes were found in 294i, 628i and 1601b.

2012 $4,000
2013 $5,000

Back of the Book              
No changes

This might be the third or fourth year in a row of few changes. Funnily enough, regardless of what the catalogues say, this doesn't seem to stop bidders from occasionally pushing up prices for the top premium material well beyond their catalogue values. What this seems to show is that there are two markets for Canadian stamps. First, there is the top premium material for which there will always be a solid demand, and then, all the other material for which demand is unpredictable, particularly at times like this when our economies are in a state of flux. 

These days, stamps issued before 1935, can command noticeable premiums. Those issued after that date usually sell at a discount to catalogue. Perhaps this is the same for other collectables. As usual, we remain optimistic about the future despite everything.

 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 links. 

 Noticeable Price Increases

 New Listings

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