In 2017 I was really surprised how inexpensive semi-aged Lincang and Mengku was. It was really terribly cheap for the actual quality of puerh. You could easily find prices which were frozen close to the prices when they were first released. Most factory cakes from Xishuangbanna had continued to rise year after year but poor Mengku had prices that were frozen in time. People who were knowledgeable enough figured this out and stocked up on cakes at this time.
I think part of the reason they were selling for so little was because of the general obsession with Xishuangbanna. I think the other reason was doubts as to whether they will age well. As it became apparent that they are in fact aging well coupled with new maocha prices from Lincang and Mengku that continued to rise year after year, it was inevitable that prices would correct at least for cakes which were known to be good and were popular.
For me personally, I really hit it hard that year purchasing many many kilograms especially from Shuangjiang Mengku of which I had significant experience with from the mid 00s.
Then quite quickly prices seem to correct in 2018. Prices tripled, quadrupled, even went up more than that within months. Even cakes that simply had “Lincang Character” had gone up steeply. Some sleepy vendors who we’re accustomed to Mengku and Lincang prices being frozen were caught off guard and great deals could be found. There was one really obscure online vendor that was selling Mengku cakes at about 1/5th the market value who simply refused to ship my order out when I attempted to clean out his stock! I’m not making this stuff up. I tired all I could for them to ship it but they simply refunded my money.
2017-2018 was an interesting year for semi aged Mengku and Lincang. Some places, I’m sure, you can still find some deals... but not like pre 2018 prices.