Is trading broken?

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Can someone explain this to me?
These stations have a demand for platinum. Where the demand is very high, they offer minimal pricing. Where the demand is exceptionally low, they offer insane pricing...?
Surely that should be the other way around?
 
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Can someone explain this to me?
These stations have a demand for platinum. Where the demand is very high, they offer minimal pricing. Where the demand is exceptionally low, they offer insane pricing...?
Surely that should be the other way around?
Firstly.. pricing is primarily based off state. So a low demand system in the right state will price higher than high demand in the wrong state.

Secondly, demand is a function of population size, and needs to be considered as a % of overall demand.

Say a population of 1000 has demand for 10t of a good. A pop of 1 million would likely have a demand of 10,000t of that same good, but iy won't necessitate that they would pay a premium due to higher demand. However if demand went unfulfilled in that 1,000 pop system, and blew out to 500, they'd probably pay a premium out of desperation/ urgency, despite having less demand than the 1m pop.
 
Firstly.. pricing is primarily based off state. So a low demand system in the right state will price higher than high demand in the wrong state.

Secondly, demand is a function of population size, and needs to be considered as a % of overall demand.

Say a population of 1000 has demand for 10t of a good. A pop of 1 million would likely have a demand of 10,000t of that same good, but iy won't necessitate that they would pay a premium due to higher demand. However if demand went unfulfilled in that 1,000 pop system, and blew out to 500, they'd probably pay a premium out of desperation/ urgency, despite having less demand than the 1m pop.
Ok, that explains the massive variances...
However, what about that system that has a demand of 11 items, and willing to pay a high premium for them?
If you rock up with any more than 3(?)T of platinum in this case, aren’t they just going to drop that premium offer back to galactic average?

I thought in the case of demand in real-life, the demand helps determine the price. I.E If people really wanted a commodity, they’d be willing to pay more to receive it... such as if someone is willing to meet their demand for it, they should be willing to pay the same price up until their demand is met, and then expect reductions in price after that point.

So population drives market price, as well as faction states... so if you influence the BGS to have the system in the right states, you can expect to see the prices rise above their typical average, right?
 
Ok, that explains the massive variances...
However, what about that system that has a demand of 11 items, and willing to pay a high premium for them?
If you rock up with any more than 3(?)T of platinum in this case, aren’t they just going to drop that premium offer back to galactic average?
Nope, because states are the stronger determinant of price. They have a multiplicative effect on the cost. So yeah, with demand so low, demand shaping (aka bulk sales tax) will kick in hard, but the states will still multiply what a zero- demand price would be

I thought in the case of demand in real-life, the demand helps determine the price. I.E If people really wanted a commodity, they’d be willing to pay more to receive it... such as if someone is willing to meet their demand for it, they should be willing to pay the same price up until their demand is met, and then expect reductions in price after that point.
Yes, but then there's states, which basically represent "events" which impact the market. While in the real world this would affect demand in the game, that would become hell to maintain within the game for <reasons which veer off topic>
So population drives market price, as well as faction states... so if you influence the BGS to have the system in the right states, you can expect to see the prices rise above their typical average, right?
It doesn't drive price so much as it drives demand. I'll get off my phone and post a notional example of what i mean in a sec. Actually, I'll just hang five and see what comes after this post, if anything :)

Edit: its better to think of population driving price stability rather than general price.
 
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Demand level is determined by multiple factors:
1) population of the station, roughly proportional to the square root of the population
2) the rarity of the good - Water has much higher tonnage than Nerve Agents, for example
3) a random skew for the station, so that not every 1M population refinery has an identical market (I call this "specialisation" - you can see some figures for it at https://cdb.sotl.org.uk/specialisation )

These first three between them determine the "baseline demand cap". To take a specific example, for Concordia Hub in Edge Fraternity Landing, this is 9785t. If the BGS state is "none" and no trading takes place, the demand level will eventually return to this number.

4) the BGS states in effect. These multiply up the baseline demand cap to get the "current demand cap" - data tables here: https://cdb.sotl.org.uk/effects
5) the amount of trading that takes place - every time someone delivers a tonne [1], the demand reduces by 1t, of course, but then it regenerates back to the cap at a rate determined by the station and the commodity (in general, the more expensive the commodity, the slower it regenerates) and possibly also affected by the BGS states

This combination gives the current tonnage demand for the station.


Price level is then determined as follows:
1) a baseline price for the good
2) again, multiplied by the effects of the BGS states
3) as demand falls below the cap, this price falls too, bottoming out at about 25% of the cap (again, varying with commodity). How much the price falls depends heavily on the good - the expensive gems can lose up to 50%, whereas some other less elastic goods only lose about 10% of their price.
4) then you finally get "bulk sales tax" applied if demand is >25% of the cap and your hold contents are a significant percentage of current demand


Here's a graph containing examples of most of this - on the left side, you've got prices and demands varying as goods as sold and demand regenerates over time, then on the right side you have a big "step" jump up and down as the faction adds Expansion to its state list, then removes it again.
...and if we zoom in on the 9th
...you can see the price flattening out on the way down well before the demand does.

What you can also see from the graphs is something else significant - for most commodities there just isn't anywhere near enough routine trade volume for demand to ever be below the cap, so states and to an extent bulk tax are basically the only determinants of price. Platinum and some other mined goods are an interesting exception to this and bring the full complexity of the economic BGS into play.

However, what about that system that has a demand of 11 items, and willing to pay a high premium for them?
If you rock up with any more than 3(?)T of platinum in this case, aren’t they just going to drop that premium offer back to galactic average?
With a demand of 11 items, the chances are for Platinum that the system is already basically at 0% of its demand cap, so the price will be in the (local) minimum anyway, and no bulk tax will apply.

If the demand cap was 11T for a system, then yes, showing up with 3T of Platinum would be significant and drop the price.

How do you tell what the demand cap is? You can't from EDDB/Inara. Make a guess from the system population, and the state effect and specialisation tables, of roughly what the demand cap might be.


[1] The BGS states are themselves obviously also caused by player activity in the "political BGS" rather than in the "economic BGS", though deliveries of cargo to meet demand in the "economic BGS" will also be trade transactions in the "political BGS" - the interactions are individually all very tangled though the aggregate effect is often a bit simpler to understand.
 
Thanks again @Ian Doncaster
The link you posted in point 4), so I’m reading this correctly, the price percentages are adjustment to the galactic average (or base price) for that commodity, right?

So as an example;
Extraction station, in Boom, has a market value of 156.4% increase over their standard market prices.
And if you were to be selling Progenitor Cells there, you’d receive 98% of the 156.4% price increase...?
 
Thanks again @Ian Doncaster
The link you posted in point 4), so I’m reading this correctly, the price percentages are adjustment to the galactic average (or base price) for that commodity, right?
Base price - galactic average is set separately to be between "normal" purchase and sale prices but doesn't directly affect the prices paid on any market. In 3.7 they updated a lot of galactic average prices to reflect market pricing changes which had happened as far back as 3.0 ... without any effect on the actual market behaviour. Since then they've kept galactic average prices more in sync with how the markets are behaving.

So as an example;
Extraction station, in Boom, has a market value of 156.4% increase over their standard market prices.
No - the main effects table tells you the total (averaged) values of all goods on sale and purchased by the station. So an Extraction station in Boom sells goods worth e.g. 15 billion credits total, and buys goods worth e.g. 10 billion credits total.

The main use of that table is to note that basically every economy except Agricultural (and Extraction in certain favourable states) is operating at an apparently massive trade deficit. It's not really a practical bit of information, other than to show just how much rewriting would be required to move to a less abstract supply-demand model. :)

You need either the per-state or per-commodity tables linked from that page for this information.

And if you were to be selling Progenitor Cells there, you’d receive 98% of the 156.4% price increase...?
So you'd just receive 98% of "normal" price (maybe, anyway - the accuracy on these calculations isn't great because of synchronisation issues [1] in collecting the information, so anything that close to 1 might actually be "no change")


[1] Essentially, because of tick propagation delays, the market changes caused by a state change tend to show up in the data slightly before the actual state change is noticed, which causes slight inaccuracies in the calculations.
 
Why are prices collapsing so massively?
Looks like whoever comes first can sell well and everyone afterwards looks into the tube.
It can't be wanted that way.
  • States affect prices with a multiplier
  • Demand affects prices, period.
Demand for high-end minerals is small, and so it tanks easily.
 
I know that.
But the price collapses too quickly, only a few have to sell.
When the demand goes 1% down, the price falls above 10%
Players from other time zones have no opportunity to sell collected goods for a good price.
Before the mining change, you could sell as long as the conditions existed with the 25% rule.
Until the states in the system changed again, mostly from tick to tick.
You just had to find a suitable system.
Now the price is no longer interesting in 20 minutes and only a few had any use.
 
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Looks like you lose about 40% of the price going from full demand to no demand on gems. So comparable in effect to taking out one of the more important states of a full combination.

That is quite a large drop - most trade goods seem to be more in the 5-25% range. Equally the low demand and slow regeneration means that the drop persists long enough to be noticed.
 
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