Thursday, 14 February 2013

Eve: some peculiar market speculation

Among my many diverse operations in Eve one of the things I do is some high end PI manufacturing near Jita. I buy P2s at Jita, move them one jump, run them up to P4 and take them back.

It's become a little trickier recently to fill my buy orders.

P2 prices across the board are slowly spiking. Try checking Market > Manufacture & Research > Planetary Materials > Refined Commodities and check the three month graph product by product. There's three in decline but the vast majority are showing a strong upward trend. The three that have declined can be attributed to the inelasticity of PI production. In my own case (which is probably typical) I've picked my commodities and won't change unless I move or unless a commodity seems to have hit rock bottom and settled there. So people were probably overproducing those anomalous ones before and it's been taking three months+ for the market to adjust since we all keep churning it out regardless of Jita fluctuations because redoing it all it a huge hassle.

So my point is that most of these are going up and we can see this as a general trend in planetary products. But why? It seems, based on current game mechanics to be an odd pick. Planetary materials get used consistently by POS operation and increase when a lot of POSes are deployed or replaced. We know that we are currently in a sov grind lull - it was specifically given as a reason for the CFC and HBC to not fight each other. No one, we're told, wants to grind sov.

So that means this upsurge is either because people who feel safe are dropping more POSes (perhaps to run reactions) or it's a speculative bubble. The first is a definite possibility with Mynna pimping do-it-yourself moon goo processing on the Not enough on its own though to explain the major movement in the commodities though (after all most people in a position to do this were already aware of alchemy and reaction profits).

It's also possible we have a spike in wormhole occupancy although I know no particular reason in the last few months why that might be so.

But my guess is that most of it is coming from a guess that DUST will somehow magically use lots of planet goo. I've already said that my opinion is that this is not coming soon which makes it particularly interesting - it's (if I'm right) ill-informed speculation. People are backing the wrong horse! So the price is going up simply because people are guessing (almost certainly wrongly) that it is about to become really really sought after to make DUST weapons with. And the value is actually going down because there's a lot of it in the economy, more than is being blown up in null sec sov wars.

Expect a crash.

In fact what may well happen is PI spikes, PI crashes, speculators collect rock bottom failed speculator planet goo, null explodes into war (because it's unlikely that the current stalemate will last more than a few months). Which even leads me to imagine that it's possibly an engineered crash - the market's slowly being led higher, some big null player will cash out at the top and stock up at the bottom just in time for a new Great Null War.


  1. What I am confused about is more pos should mean more pos fuel.

    I agree that PI prices are going up; especially for Pos fuel parts (of which mech parts is a component)

    But the Jita Caldari fuel block price is static or even slightly falling over the same period.

    Your price manipulation theory partly explains this. Maybe.

    1. Well the price manipulation theory is rather tin foil hat.

      What I certainly believe is the market is being driven by people stockpiling PI for DUST.

  2. Lot of people came after retribution. I often see 50K players online in peak time. They are all buyers. However returners and random newbies are unlikely to jump into P1-2 PI both because PI needs a commitment in skill points and schedule and because extraction is horrible in highsec where randoms are.

    Increased demand and not increased supply = price increase

    1. It could be that.

      But newbies don't use items made of PI like POS modules and so on. Also we're not seeing across the board inflation.

  3. I have no particular idea as to why the increase other than agreeing with the last line in what Gevlon said above with Increase demand and not enough supply causing increasing prices.

    What I have seen recently is a bunch of my P1 PI stock has sold on the market in my region and that's PI stuff that had sat on the market at higher prices that I didn't care all that much if it sold quickly but there in case the market run dry to sell off. And the thought recently I had at the time was their don't seem like all that much people are doing PI at various levels of PI for any number of reasons. Well that's at least till the PI market goes high enough that the herd of players start login to restart things and likely dive the market down again with over supply producing PI stuff.

  4. A lot more than just PI items have been going up in price for a while now. I see 2 major reason for it, there may be others.

    1. More people are playing now than 6 months ago. There are more people online and all the market hubs have more pilots docked and active at just about time.

    2. A lot of people got very rich abusing the FW orbit thing. They're spending that isk now, creating more demand for a lot of stuff and driving prices up.

    1. Hmm, ok. I can accept that. I still maintain that P2s seem to be beating the Consumer Price Index though.

      Prices do go up when the game gets busier as Gevlon pointed out. Also prices go up around an expansion, especially one like Ret which encouraged a lot of ship building.

      I guess CCP have done unusually well at extending the seasonal expansion player spike with very good PR around Ret 1.1, the summer expansion, fanfest and the CSM minutes so that a high player count that usually lasts a month has been maintained since December with no sign of faltering.

      Another possible explanation is a surge in demand for Nanite Repair Paste related to the new ancillary armour repair module.