## Tuesday, 11 October 2016

I have been taking a look at some of the stats we get from the Eve Economic reports which can be found in the Dev Blog.

There are two stats that interest me because they look odd - and both suggest that Trade is being under reported in the Economic Reports:

For what it is worth, i suspect Trade in Citadels is either 292.544 Trillion ISK in September (=37.9% of all Trade) or 117.310 Trillion ISK (=20% of all Trade).

1) Transaction Tax Rate: If i take the total Transaction Tax in September of 7.713 trillion ISK and compare it to the total Trade in September of 479,205 Trillion ISK then it appears that the average Transaction Tax rate is 1.61% (i.e. 7.713 / 479,205).

That is odd, it should be nearer 1.00%.  Indeed, back in February, March and April the Transaction Tax Rate was 1.00% using the same calculation.  I.e. the vast majority of Trading is done by characters with Skills that reduce their Tax rate to the minimum level.

But in May this rate rose to 1.31%, June 1.42%, July 1.50%, August 1.51% and September 1.61%.

Hence, either the Transaction Tax i am looking it as too much (unlikely) or the Trade value i am looking at is too small (possible).

I am suspecting that we are not seeing all the Trade.  Indeed, it is noteworthy that the divergence from 1.00% started with Citadels were introduced.

Hence, i suspect the Trade we get from the Economic Reports does not include Citadels.

If i assumed the Transaction Tax rate should be essentially 1.00% then i can deduce what the trade in Citadels is.  The Table below does exactly that (all numbers in billions):

Column 1 "Stated Trade" shows the Trade value in each month taken from the Economic Reports.  Column 2 "Stated Transaction Tax" shows the Transaction Tax each month taken from the Economic Reports.  Hence, column 3 shows the Transaction Tax rate - and you can see how it rises above 1.00% once Citadels are introduced.

So, column 4 assumes that the tax rate should be 1.00% and therefore column 5 derives the new Total trade in Eve by dividing column 4 into column 2. And so column 6 then shows what the Trade in Citadels should be (i.e. the derived Total Trade less the Stated Trade).

 Stated Transaction Assumed Derived Derived Stated Transaction Tax Tax Total Citadel Trade Tax Rate Rate Trade Trade Feb 977,077 -9,817 1.00% 1.00% 977,077 0 Mar 842,974 -8,336 0.99% 0.99% 842,974 0 Apr 849,840 -8,493 1.00% 1.00% 849,840 0 May 734,239 -9,596 1.31% 1.00% 960,200 225,960 Jun 566,864 -8,068 1.42% 1.00% 807,289 240,425 Jul 514,299 -7,708 1.50% 1.00% 771,246 256,947 Aug 496,178 -7,506 1.51% 1.00% 751,086 254,909 Sep 479,205 -7,713 1.61% 1.00% 771,749 292,544

What is interesting is that if this is correct then in September the 292,544 trillion ISK of trade i believe is Citadels represents 37.9% of Total Trade in Eve.

2) ISK Volume: In the monthly economic report downloads provided there is a spreadsheet that shows the daily ISK Volume.  Now, i suspect the ISK Volume is measured via the market trades.  If i take the monthly ISK Volumes then they indeed compare rather well to the Trade values in February, March and April but then start to pull ahead in May onwards - again just when Citadels were launched.

The table below (all numbers in billions) shows the "ISK Volume" per month taken from the Economic Reports and compares it to the Trade per month also taken from the economic reports.  They look very similar for Feb - Apr and then diverge.

 ISK Stated Volume Trade Difference Feb 977,156 977,077 79 Mar 843,028 842,974 54 Apr 849,886 849,840 47 May 743,030 734,239 8,791 Jun 623,940 566,864 57,077 Jul 594,832 514,299 80,533 Aug 581,670 496,178 85,492 Sep 596,514 479,205 117,310

Now, if i was to assume that the "Difference" is in fact Trade being done in Citadels then in September i could say that 117.310 Trillion ISK of trade was done in Citadels vs 479.205 Trillion ISK done in traditional stations.

Different answers?  Or actually the same?

However, the "Transaction Rate Tax" method seems to give a different answer to the "ISK Volume" method.  Either i am saying Citadel Trade was 292.544 Trillion ISK in September or i am saying Citadel Trade was 117.310 Trillion ISK in September.  Or, of course, i could be wrong on both methods.

What is interesting though is if i look at the Transaction Tax Rate assuming the "ISK Volume" is the Total Trade in Eve.  i.e. column 2 in the first table divided by column 1 in the second table.

 Stated ISK Transaction Tax Volume Tax Rate Feb 977,156 -9,817 1.00% Mar 843,028 -8,336 0.99% Apr 849,886 -8,493 1.00% May 743,030 -9,596 1.29% Jun 623,940 -8,068 1.29% Jul 594,832 -7,708 1.30% Aug 581,670 -7,506 1.29% Sep 596,514 -7,713 1.29%

For Feb - Apr i get 1.00% effective rate (as expected) whereas May - Sep i get the same 1.29% effective tax rate each month.  Now, that is too much of a coincidence!  I can't explain why this is the case - but there has to be a reason why the monthly Transaction Tax divided by the monthly ISK Volume is now equal to 1.29% for each of the last five months.

## Sunday, 9 October 2016

### Eve Economic Report September 2016 - Activity up, Trade down

The monthly Economic Report for September is out.

In summary:

Activity is rising but Trade continues to fall.

Mining and Bounty Prizes are all up = activity rising amongst the player base.  But Trade and Production is down = less economic activity.

ISK in the game is rising again = rising Plex prices.

Citadel market share of the market is rising - it is at least 9% though i greatly suspect it is nearer 20%.

I would expect the rising activity to lead to rising Trade in October.

Player to Player Fees

This is a new piece of information.  Since PoCos players have been able to collect taxes from other players for the use of player owned facilities but the launch of Citadels and taken this a step further.  In September 1.7 Trillion ISK was paid from one Character to another in the form of Citadel Broker Fees (901 billion), Planetary Export Taxes (381 billion), Reprocessing Tax (117 billion) etc.

Main points of interest for now are that:

Broker fees of 901 billion compares to NPC broker fees of 9.5 trillion.  Hence, for now, we can say that Citadels command about 8.7% of the market (if we measured the market by the value of items placed on the market to Sell plus the value of Buy order placed on the market to be fulfilled).  However, worth remembering that in most Citadels the Broker fees are priced very low to attract traders - hence i suspect this 8.7% market share is understated.  I may have more on this in a later post - i can see how it could be as high as 20% but that has a few assumptions in it!

Planetary Export tax of 381 billion and Planetary Import tax of 76 billion represent about 65 - 70% of the total tax collected which, as we would expect, shows that the player owned PoCos are almost everywhere.  Given NPC tax still applies at player owned PoCos (hence, the tax share of player fees can never get to 100%) i suspect we can be confident that almost every planet now has a player owned PoCo orbiting it.

Reprocessing tax of 117 billion represents 67% of the total reprocessing tax.  Now, for this one i need to work out if there is any NPC take at player owned stations, if not then it seems fair to assume the most Reprocessing is done at player owned stations (and i suspect player owned station tax is lower so that 67% understates the true market share).

More to follow here over the coming months, notably keeping track of Broker fees as a way of gauging Citadel Trade market share.

Items of note from Regional Activity

That surprised me, trade fell 3% to 479 trillion ISK - i had thought trade would rise in September.  Trade is now down 51% since February.  In the last seven months only April saw a rise in trade (of a mere +1%).

The top 10 trade regions are below:

 Trade Trillions 1 The Forge 351.0 2 Domain 52.8 3 Sinq Laison 17.4 4 Heimatar 8.5 5 Metropolis 6.7 6 Lonetrek 6.6 7 The Citadel 3.2 8 Essence 3.1 9 Providence 3.1 10 Tash-Murkon 1.8

The Forge (Jita) remains dominant followed by the trade hubs of Domain (Amarr), Sinq Laison (Dodixie), Heimeter (Rens) and Metropolis (Hek).  Lonetrek remains in contention to take over from Hek - go back a few months and it was challenging to be the number 4 trade spot.  As usual, Citadel, Essence, Providence and Tash-Murkon make up the rest of the top 10.

As a reminder to new players, the main 5 Trade Hubs in the order we know: The Forge (i.e. Jita); Domain (i.e. Amarr); Sinq Laison (i.e. Dodixie); Heimatar (i.e. Rens); Metropolis (i.e. Hek).

Providence is Low Sec space that borders several highsec Regions: Domain / Tash-Murkon / Devoid / Derelik.

To put The Forge (Jita) into perspective, 73.2% of all Trade is done there.  And that has been on a rising trend since March.  So far, at least, Citadels is not taking trade away from Jita.

The other trade hubs though are a different matter.  Domain (Amarr) has 11.0% of all trade but that is on a declining trend.  It was 11.6% in March.  Sinq Laison (Dodixie) has 3.6% of all trade vs 4.2% in March.  Heimeter (Rens) has 1.8% of all trade vs 2.3% in March and Metrolpolis (Hek) has 1.4% of all trade vs 1.7% in March.

The only other Region commanding more than 1% of all trade is Lonetrek at 1.4% though it is also seeing a falling share over time.

I don't believe the falling share of the other Trade Hubs is due to Citadels, rather i suspect it is a feature of declining trade which penalizes the central trade Hub (Jita) last.  In a universe of declining trade, what is left will gravitate towards Jita as Buyers and Sellers seek each other out.

Transaction taxes rose 3% - given Trade fell 3% then this suggests that a higher proportion of Trade is done from NPC stations vs player owned Citadels in September.

As an aside, Transaction Taxes used to sit at 1.00% of the Trade value (which was the minimum possible with full skills) but with the changes to the tax system now sit at 1.61%.  I am not sure why the current rate sits at 1.61% when Accounting Level 5 can get it down to 1.00% and given the rate effectively paid before the changes was at the minimum.  I will pick this up in a later post - but it does indicate that Citadel Trade is not being picked up in this data.  If this was the case then Citadel Trade would represent 38% of all Trade in Eve (feels too high).

Broker Fees fell 7% - which indicates either more items being put on the market to Buy and Sell in Citadels or the total value of items being placed on the market to Buy and Sell has fallen.  I favour the latter explaination.  Broker fees used to be 0.60% of the Trade value but now are 1.98%.

However, the Transaction Tax rate the Broker Fee rate does confirm that the Trade Value quoted in the stats is the Sales values only (and not the total sum of the Selling + Buying, which you could argue would be double counting).

16 Regions did over 1 trillion ISK of trade in September, down from 17 in August and a massive 27 in February.  Aridia was the Region that dropped out in September though, to be fair, it was only in the Trillion ISK club for August.

Regions that have fallen out since February are: Black Rise; Branch; Deklein; Derelik; Devoid; Kador; Khanid; Kor-Azor; Pure Blind; Querious; and Wicked Creek.  Some of these will be war related, others i am not sure of.

Deklein, the home world to the side that lost World War Bee, is back at a new low of 535 billion ISK having been back on the rise for the prior two months.

Nothing noteworthy in terms of trends this month, no Region really lost or gained relative to its own history.

Contracts: another way of measuring the Economic activity in Eve is to look at the volume of contracts placed.  If i assume 10,000 ISK broker fee per contract then in September there were 17.5m contracts placed which is a 1.0% decline on August though up 2.7% since February.  The peak number of contracts occurred in April when 22.3m contracts were placed.

Office Rental Fees: office rentals fell 13% to 436 billion ISK, a new low since i have been watching the numbers since February.  In part, i suspect, due to the fall in Trade and so corporations pulling out of Trade Hubs such as Rens, Hek and Dodixie and also due to traders moving to the Citadels perhaps.

Production - down 6%

Production fell 6% to 105 trillion ISK of items manufactured, back to about February levels.  Seems that the Citadel manufacturing is slowing down.

It still interests me that Production is essentially flat since February but Trade is down 51%.  My best guess remains that that either Corporations are mining and processing their own raw materials rather than buying them from the market, or that the purchases were made in prior months.

Of note, Manufacturing costs as a % of the Value manufactured is running at 1.86%.  I.e. in September 105 trillion ISK of items were manufactured which cost 1.9 trillion ISK in manufacturing fees.

The top 10 Production Regions for September are below:

 Production Trillions 1 The Forge 18.7 2 Lonetrek 11.9 3 The Citadel 10.1 4 Domain 5.9 5 Sinq Laison 3.9 6 Providence 3.6 7 Delve 3.5 8 Tribute 3.3 9 Geminate 2.1 10 Deklein 1.9

Delve has been gathering momentum.  Used to sit in the 30s before rising into the 20s and now into the top 10.

Deklein, the home region of the losing side in World War Bee, is for the second month back in the top 10.

Everyshore has been falling down the rankings and is now in the 30s vs its prior solid position in the 20s.

Metrolopolis (Hek) sits just outside the top 10 whereas Heimatar (Rens) is on the 20s despite being number 4 on the Top 10 Trade list.

The Regions of The Forge and its neighbours Lonetrek and Citadel dominate - they were always big production centers but now take on the role as being where Citadels are being focused in High Sec to take business away from Jita.

For new players - The Forge remains the top slot - makes sense, many people will produce near where they buy the raw materials and/or intend to sell the finished items.

Domain (Amarr) and Sinq Laison (Dodixie) are the other two major Trade Hubs - hence would expect Production to be there in volume as well.

Providence, is a Low Sec Region but borders several highsec Regions: Domain / Tash-Murkon / Devoid / Derelik and has a more inviting stance for players - hence we would expect to see it be up there in the Production rankings.

If i compare September to February: Delve is up 487% to 3.5 trillion ISK of items; Esoteria is up 48% to 1.4 trillion; Fountain is up 65% to 1.1 trillion; Perrigen Falls is up 140% to 1.1 trillion; Tenel is up 49% to 1.1 trillion; The Spire is up 330% to 1.0 trillion; and Tribute is up 155% to 3.3 trillion.

Mining - up 5%

Mining rose 5% to 24.4 trillion ISK which is slightly up on the February level.

Below is the top 10 Mining Regions in September:

 mining Trillions 1 Malpais 1.4 2 The Forge 1.4 3 Delve 1.4 4 Lonetrek 1.1 5 Providence 1.1 6 Domain 1.0 7 Tash-Murkon 0.8 8 Metropolis 0.7 9 The Citadel 0.6 10 Everyshore 0.6

Delve shot up from its normal position in the 40s to number 3 - note it also went into the top 10 in Production as well, i suspect a connection there and also a hint why Trade can be down since February but Mining and Production up since February => players and corporations are mining their own raw materials for use.

The Forge (Jita) was knocked off top slot by Malpais - though nothing special there, those two Regions are generally fighting for the top slot.
There are now five regions where mining is over 1 trillion ISK compared to 3 in August and three in February.  That suggests to me that game activity is back on the rise.  The new regions this month were Delve and Providence.

Destruction - down 2%

Destruction fell 2% to 30.4 trillion which is a new low since i started watching the numbers in February and continues the downward trend since World War Bee.

Insurance payments to players is back to the more normal 17% of the value of items destroyed.  During the height of World War Bee it rose to 23% given players were flying into battle knowing the end was nigh.  I.e. in September 5.1 trillion ISK in insurance was paid to players.

As an aside, the insurance payments players make each month is about 8% of what is destroyed.  i.e. in September players paid 2.4 trillion in insurance fees.

Whoever runs the Eve Online insurance business is making a 3 trillion loss per month during peace time and a massive 4.5 trillion loss per month during wars.

Below is the top 10 Destruction in September:

 Destroyed Trillions 1 The Forge 2.1 2 Lonetrek 1.8 3 The Citadel 1.6 4 Catch 1.6 5 Black Rise 1.5 6 Pure Blind 1.3 7 Providence 1.2 8 Sinq Laison 0.9 9 Domain 0.9 10 Fountain 0.9

Forge has regained its top slot.

Delve has risen to just below the top 10 compared to its more normal position in the 20s - a reflection of the higher level of mining and production done in that Region over recent months.

Fountain is back in the top 10 having spent a number of months in the 20s.

Imports and Exports

I normally watch the Imports and Exports as an indicator on the travel of goods or, more recently, the movement of war.

That said, imports (and exports) fell 6.6% to 6,732 Trillion ISK which remains a healthy level.

Whilst Trade may be down 51% since February, Imports / Exports are up 17%.

Looking at trends: There appears to be a clear sign of items being moved into Delve (note also the rise in Production in that Region), Tenel and Tenerifis.  Whereas there appears to be a clear sign of items being moved out of Branch.

Items of note in the Sinks and Faucets

Sink = ISK leaving the game (i.e. Brokers Fees); Faucet = ISK coming into the game (i.e. Bounty Prizes).

In September there was an inflow of ISK into the game of 11.4 trillion ISK.  The amount of ISK in the game is 967 trillion ISK though below the peak March level of 972 trillion ISK.

The September increase was due to slightly more ISK flowing in from the faucets and much less ISK retiring from the game (player accounts closing).

ISK leaving the game was still high at 18.5 trillion compared to the more normal 10 trillion ISK.  June / July / August saw over 20 trillion ISK leave each month - i am not sure if that is the summer lull or players leaving post World War Bee.

The faucet growth benefited from a 12% increase in Bounty Prizes to 44.1 trillion ISK, which is a new high since i have been watching the numbers in February.  Again, another indication that activity is on the rise.

Going through the Sinks:

Transaction taxes were up 3% and Broker fees down 7% - see the Trade Section above where i discuss those.

Blueprints fell 3% to 4.2 trillion ISK which continues to decline since the introduction of Citadels but remains above the February level of 3.4 trillion.

Skills were flat at 8.5 trillion ISK but remains at the lows - i am assuming players are diverting ISK generation to selling Skills to players that are, for now, buying the more lower valued skill books.

Project Discovery made its first rise in a long time to 91.0 billion inflow.  It started at 340 billion back in March.

One odd item of note, there is a small sink called "Celestial", i have no idea what it is but it has a suspiciously round numbered outflow each month: Feb = 74.7 billion (i.e. an exact 74,700,000,000); March = 45.0; April = 2.7; May 8.1; June = 18.0; July 3.6; August 3.6; September 9.9.

Items of note in the Money Supply

Nothing to say this month, money supply is back on the rise.

The greatest inflow of ISK into the game as a % of the prior day's ISK was on 17 October 2014 when 4.9 trillion ISK came into the game (=0.66% of the prior day's ISK in the game).  And indeed 18 October 2014 was the third largest day with 4.1 trillion ISK coming into the game.  Not sure why this would be: Plex went over 800m though that itself would not cause ISK to flow into the game; may also relate to SOMER Blink reimbursing prior deposits (see paragraph below).

The greatest outflow of ISK from the game occured on 20 August 2014 when a massive 32.7 trillion ISK left the game (=4.3% of the prior day's ISK in the game).  Most likely to do with the banning of SOMER Blink from the game on that day.  To put this in perspective, the next largest outflow of ISK was on 8 January 2016 when 4.8 trillion left the game (=0.52% of the prior day's ISK in the game) - again, most likely due to a banning event: The Latest IWANTISK Ban Wave.  Seems at least to be a pattern to the major outflow days = banning days.

Mapping all that onto Plex Prices

I greatly suspect players, like myself, use surplus ISK generated each month to buy Plex.  When i say "surplus" i of course mean surplus to all other requirements - at the end off the day, ISK sitting in my wallet will never grow.  It should either be about to be invested into my business or should Buy Plex.

Normally, there is 20 - 30 trillion of surplus ISK generated which, through the mechanisms of trading, makes its way nicely up to the business owners and bankers in Eve.  When i say "surplus ISK", i mean the difference between the Faucets and the Sinks.  The ISK that leaves with retiring players is not a factor in all this - though the absence of those retiring players may become a factor in future periods.

The players then park some of that ISK in Plex.  That is what makes Plex an inflation hedge - where inflation is defined as money supply.  That is, the rising amount of ISK in Eve.

As a rule, surplus ISK is normally generated by existing players each month.  However, we have had three recent events which have disrupted that flow.

Firstly, World War Bee, i suspect, will have seen a higher than normal selling pressure to finance the war.  For a few months that extra ISK generated went into financing the war and i suspect hoarded reserves of Plex were sold to help out.  That i suspect is now largely over.

Secondly, Citadel building will also have seen a higher than normal selling pressure to finance the cost of building Citadels.  That appears to be scaling back to more of an ongoing expense rather than the rush we saw recently.

Thirdly, the rise in Transaction Taxes and Broker Fees has added a further 5 trillion of additional ISK sink to Eve.  Worth noting that it was an additional 15 trillion ISK sink until players discovered "off-shoring".  That is here to stay though good to see player innovation minimizing its affect.  To put the changes in the tax system into perspective: in February 15.7 trillion ISK was spent on Transaction taxes and Broker fees as a result of 977 trillion ISK of trade; in September 17.2 trillion ISK was spent on Transaction taxes and Broker fees as a result of a mere 479 trillion ISK of trade.

The point here is that the recent headwinds to ISK generation are now lessening, indeed almost gone, such that we are again generating surplus ISK and so Plex rises have started to rise again in response.  When those headwinds were the strongest in April and May we saw ISK leave the economy and so Plex prices fell.  Prior to those months, ISK only left Eve on three prior occasions - August 2014, April 2014 and March 2014.

## Sunday, 2 October 2016

### Financial Instruments in Eve Online

I have been looking into if we can use the Contracting system to have financial instruments in Eve.

The beauty of the Courier Contracting system is that the use of collateral is the enforcement mechanism . . . . i.e. make good your promise or lose your collateral, and no scam that i know of can get around that.

For example, as an idea for a financial instrument, lets say someone buys a Plex each month to finance their account and they were concerned that Plex was going to rise from 1bn to say 1.1bn over the month - would they be willing to pay 30m to give them the right to buy the Plex at 1bn?  I.e. would they be willing to buy an Option for 30m that would allow them to buy that Plex for 1bn?

Now, there would be two ways i can see would could do this . . . . . but we cant.

Using a Courier Contract with negative Fees

If i could create a courier contract to transfer 1 Plex, with collateral of 1.0bn and fees of -30m . . . . . trouble is that i can not set the fees on a courier contract to a negative number.  I.e. i can not set up a courier contract where the taker of the contract pays me to deliver the item.

For reference, the way that this courier contract would work is that the taker of the contract would put 1bn into Collateral escrow and pay me 30m in fees.

If Plex rose above 1.03bn then they would fail the contract, lose the 1.0bn collateral but gain the Plex.  In this case they were correct to take the contact where as the creater of the contract would lose a Plex and gain 30m + 1.0bn ISK - so if Plex rose to say 1.1bn the creater of the contract would lose 70m.

If Plex failed to rise to 1.03bn then they would deliver the contract get their 1.03bn ISK back and buy the Plex in the open market, so have lost their 30m fees they paid the creater.  The creater would make a gain of 30m ISK.

Using a Courier Contract wrapped in an Item Exchange Contract.

If i could create a Courier Contract to deliver 1 Plex with no Collateral and Fees of 1.0bn, have that contract accepted by an alt of mine which then puts it into an Exchange Contract with a cost of 1.03bn then that would have the same effect as the above . . . . trouble is that the person the takes on the Exchange Contract is not able to deliver the Courier Contract (i.e. the Courier Contract can only be completed by whoever accepted it).

Shame really.  With a little tinkering of the Courier Contract system then we could have all sorts of fun up and running.  Including a lending market.

## Friday, 16 September 2016

### Eve Economic Report for August - summer lull slowing.

The monthly Economic Report for August is out.

In summary:

The summer lull continues but is perhaps coming to the end.  Trade is down 49% since the February peak - Eve does seem to go through deep Trade cycles.

The player base, whilst less active, did manage to generate healthy surplus ISK which worked its way into the Plex market.

Items of note from Regional Activity

Another decline in Trade, down 4% compared to July and down 49% from the February high.  The good news is that the rate of decline is falling: -23% in June; -9% in July; and now -4% in August.  Hence, i am expecting Trade to rise in September and so call an end of the summer lull.

To put this all in perspective, Total trade in July was 496 trillion ISK vs February of 977 trillion, that is a fall of 49%.

What we are seeing though is that the two larger Trade Hubs, Jita and Amarr, are holding their own whereas the 3 smaller Trade Hubs, Dodixie / Rens / Hek, are starting to fall away.

I.e. since Februray: The Forge (Jita) has fallen 49%; Domain (Amarr) has fallen 51% - so both the main trade hubs are down with the average.  However, Sinq Laison (Dodixie) has fallen 60%; Heimatar (Rens) has fallen 60%; and Metropolis (Hek) has fallen 56% - so it appears the other major trade hubs are falling faster.

In fact, during August The Forge (Jita) was only down 1% in Trade.

We will get a better idea if this trend is sustained as the year goes by - it may be the case that as Trade declines then volume gravitates towards the larger Trade Hubs of Jita and Amarr.  Or it may be the case that the other three Trade Hubs are slowly dying.  We will see.

If i just looked at Regions that did over 1 trillion ISK of trade (17 regions) then two are actually up since February: Aridia has risen 53%, helped by a massive 135% rise in August (High Sec, on the edge of Amarr space); and Vale of the Silent which has risen 7%.

Providence, which is holding up, only fell by 1% in August bring its total fall since February to 26% and Lonetrek, which had been holding up until July took a 19% dive on top of the 23% dive in July, bringing it down to -45% since February.

I have put the top 10 trade Regions for each of August, July, June, May and April below to allow readers to see how far trade has come back:

Below is the top 10 Trade Regions in August

 Trade Trillions 1 The Forge 363.5 2 Domain 55.4 3 Sinq Laison 17.0 4 Heimatar 8.9 5 Lonetrek 7.3 6 Metropolis 6.9 7 Providence 3.2 8 Essence 3.1 9 The Citadel 2.7 10 Tash-Murkon 1.8

Below is the top 10 Trade Regions in July

 Trillions 1 The Forge 367.9 2 Domain 59.7 3 Sinq Laison 19.4 4 Heimatar 10.5 5 Lonetrek 9.1 6 Metropolis 7.4 7 Essence 3.3 8 Providence 3.2 9 The Citadel 3.2 10 Tash-Murkon 1.9

Below is the top 10 Trade Regions in June

 Trillions 1 The Forge 399.2 2 Domain 67.1 3 Sinq Laison 21.2 4 Heimatar 12.4 5 Lonetrek 11.9 6 Metropolis 9.7 7 Providence 4.2 8 Essence 3.8 9 The Citadel 3.3 10 Tash-Murkon 2.5

Below is the top 10 Trade Regions in May
 Trade Trillions 1 The Forge 517.1 2 Domain 86.2 3 Sinq Laison 30.0 4 Heimatar 15.5 5 Lonetrek 13.0 6 Metropolis 12.9 7 Essence 5.2 8 The Citadel 5.2 9 Providence 4.5 10 Tash-Murkon 4.1

Below is the top 10 Trade Regions for April:

 Trillions 1 The Forge 597.7 2 Domain 99.4 3 Sinq Laison 34.8 4 Heimatar 19.1 5 Lonetrek 18.6 6 Metropolis 14.0 7 The Citadel 7.1 8 Essence 6.5 9 Providence 4.4 10 Tash-Murkon 4.1

Not much to say about the rankings in August other than to note that Lonetrek is in danger of slipping back down the rankings.  At one time it was challenging to be the number 4 Trade Hub but for now that is but a dream.

As a reminder to new players, the main 5 Trade Hubs in the order we know: The Forge (i.e. Jita); Domain (i.e. Amarr); Sinq Laison (i.e. Dodixie); Heimatar (i.e. Rens); Metropolis (i.e. Hek).

In the next 5: the expected Essence and Tash-Murkon are there, known secondary trade hubs.  But also Lonetrek and Citadel (both Regions that are one jump out of Jita) and Providence (null sec space that borders several highsec Regions: Domain / Tash-Murkon / Devoid / Derelik).

The dominance of The Forge (Jita) reigns supreme though - Jita shows no sign of losing its dominance.  It is no surprise that citadels in High-Sec are parking themselves close to Jita as they fight for its business.

Deklein (home region of the losing side in World War Bee) saw its second monthly rise in trade since March, with trade up 11% on top of the 20% rise in July.  Remains a shadow of its former self though with total Trade at 0.9 trillion vs 2.6 trillion back in February.

I tend to look at any trends since February to gain some sort of indication as to what has changed since World War Bee.  Looks like Arida has moved sharply up the rankings from mid 30s to number 17 and so is now one of the Regions that has over 1 trillion of Trade.  Immensea has moved from 42 to 26; and Vale of the Silent has moved from 21 to 13.

The big fallers have been Dekein from 13 to 18 - though is crawling back up the rankings; Oasa from 28 to 47; and Wicked Creek from 17 to 49.

Production - up 3%

Production rose 3%, which is nicely up 8% since February.  We saw a large rise in May to 145 trillion ISK on the back of Citadels followed by declines in June and July leaving us at 111 trillion ISK for August.

That all said, it is somewhat of a contradiction that Production is up 8% since February whereas Trade is down 49% over the same period.  My best guess remains that that either Corporations are mining and processing their own raw materials rather than buy them from the market, or that the purchases were made in prior months.

I have put the top 10 Production Regions for August, July, June, May and April below.

Top 10 Production Regions for August:

 Production Trillions 1 The Forge 21.4 2 Lonetrek 14.4 3 The Citadel 9.5 4 Domain 6.2 5 Sinq Laison 4.2 6 Providence 3.9 7 Tribute 3.6 8 Deklein 2.3 9 Malpais 2.1 10 Metropolis 2.1

Top 10 Production Regions for July:

 Trillions 1 The Forge 20.6 2 Lonetrek 14.4 3 The Citadel 9.6 4 Domain 5.8 5 Providence 3.9 6 Sinq Laison 3.9 7 Tribute 2.7 8 Malpais 2.2 9 Cobalt Edge 2.1 10 Vale of the Silent 1.9

Top 10 Production Regions for June:

 Trillions 1 The Forge 22.9 2 Lonetrek 15.0 3 The Citadel 11.2 4 Domain 6.7 5 Providence 5.1 6 Sinq Laison 4.3 7 Catch 2.8 8 Geminate 2.6 9 Malpais 2.6 10 Black Rise 2.5

Top 10 Production Regions for May:

 Production Trillions 1 The Forge 32.7 2 Lonetrek 19.6 3 The Citadel 15.1 4 Domain 8.9 5 Providence 5.4 6 Sinq Laison 5.3 7 Geminate 3.7 8 Catch 2.8 9 Tash-Murkon 2.6 10 Malpais 2.4

Top 10 Production Regions for April:

 Trillions 1 The Forge 19.6 2 Lonetrek 14.0 3 The Citadel 11.8 4 Domain 7.3 5 Sinq Laison 5.3 6 Providence 3.6 7 Metropolis 2.8 8 Geminate 2.5 9 Malpais 2.1 10 Tash-Murkon 2.0

A few notable changes:

Only matter to draw out in the rankings is that Deklein, home of the losing side in World War Bee, is now back in the top 10 Production rankings.

The Regions of The Forge and its neighbours Lonetrek and Citadel dominated - they were always big production centers but now take on the role as being where Citadels are being focused in High Sec to take business away from Jita.

For new players - The Forge remains the top slot - makes sense, many people will produce near where they buy the raw materials and/or intend to sell the finished items.

Domain and Sinq Laison are the other two major Trade Hubs - hence would expect Production to be there in volume as well.

Providence, is a Low Sec Region but borders several highsec Regions: Domain / Tash-Murkon / Devoid / Derelik and has a more inviting stance for players - hence we would expect to see it be up there in the Production rankings.

Some interesting moves in August production: Deklein, home of the losing side in World War Bee, increased 62% to 2.3 trillion compared to the May low of 0.7 trillion, not yet at the 4.0 trillion reached in March but a notable rise nonetheless; Delve rose 36% to 1.3 trillion which is a 120% rise from February; Esoteria is up 28% in August to 1.8 trillion which is a 85% rise since February; Tribute rose 35% in August to 3.6 trillion which is a rise of 182% since February.  I suspect we are seeing some Citadels being built in those Regions.

If i look at what is falling since February then i can't avoid to notice that the Trade Hubs of Domain (Amarr), Heimater (Rens), Metropolis (Hek) and Sinq Laison (Dodixie) are all down where as The Forge (Jita) is up.  So far, perhaps i can conclude that Citadels is taking Production away from all Trade Hubs except Jita and putting some into null/low sec.

Mining - down 7%

Mining was down 7% - again more inline with Trade - and now inline with February levels.

Below is the top 10 Mining Regions in August:

 mining Trillions 1 The Forge 1.4 2 Malpais 1.3 3 Lonetrek 1.1 4 Providence 1.0 5 Domain 1.0 6 Tash-Murkon 0.8 7 Branch 0.8 8 Metropolis 0.7 9 Everyshore 0.7 10 Vale of the Silent 0.7

Below is the top 10 Mining Regions in July:

 Trillions 1 The Forge 1.4 2 Malpais 1.3 3 Cobalt Edge 1.1 4 Providence 1.0 5 Lonetrek 1.0 6 Domain 1.0 7 Metropolis 0.8 8 Branch 0.7 9 Tash-Murkon 0.7 10 Sinq Laison 0.7

There are only three Regions where the mining value is over 1 trillion ISK: The Forge; Malpais; and Lonetrek.  The Forge and Lonetrek are suitably close to Jita and are key Production regions - so that makes sense we see plenty of mining there also.  Malpais, though, i will guess is popular because it is owned by PL and have plenty of players willing to mine it?

The big value movers upwards since February have been: Branch; and Malpais.

Cobalt Edge used to be a big upwards mover but halved in August back to February levels - not sure why.

Of the major Trade Hubs only The Forge (Jita), Domain (Amarr) and Sinq Laison (Dodixie) are in the top 10.

The Forge and Domain at the top given being major Trade Hubs - so people mining near where they intend to sell and Lonetrek being next to The Forge and itself a major production Region.

Providence is up there given it is nullsec space that is very connected to several High Sec Regions and has a more neutral policy to neutral players.

Destruction - down 5%

Destruction has resumed its downward trend from World War Bee with 31 trillion ISK destroyed in August vs the peak 35 trillion destroyed in March and April.

The big news is that The Forge has been knocked off the top ranking by The Citadel (a Region next to The Forge).  That last happened in May when The Forge was number 3.  For some reason, destruction in The Forge fell to a new recent low of 1.7 trillion vs the 2.0 trillion it has been running at before.

Perhaps that is the effect of Citadels causing gankers to be spread about more?  That is backed up by the % of Destroyed to (imported + exported) in The Forge has fallen from 0.16% to 0.13% - small number i know, but they make the point.

Below is the top 10 Destruction in August:

 Destroyed Trillions 1 The Citadel 1.8 2 The Forge 1.7 3 Lonetrek 1.5 4 Tribute 1.5 5 Black Rise 1.3 6 Catch 1.3 7 Providence 1.2 8 Pure Blind 0.9 9 Domain 0.9 10 Sinq Laison 0.9

Below is the top 10 Destruction in July:

 Trillions 1 The Forge 2.1 2 Black Rise 2.0 3 Lonetrek 1.9 4 The Citadel 1.6 5 Providence 1.3 6 Immensea 1.2 7 Sinq Laison 1.1 8 Pure Blind 1.0 9 Metropolis 1.0 10 Vale of the Silent 1.0

The top table is the top 10 Destruction in June:

 Trillions 1 The Forge 2.0 2 Lonetrek 1.8 3 Black Rise 1.8 4 The Citadel 1.4 5 Providence 1.3 6 Querious 1.0 7 Domain 1.0 8 Catch 0.9 9 Vale of the Silent 0.8 10 Sinq Laison 0.8

The table below is the top 10 Destruction in May:

 Destroyed Trillions 1 Lonetrek 2.7 2 The Citadel 2.2 3 The Forge 1.9 4 Domain 1.4 5 Black Rise 1.4 6 Providence 1.2 7 Sinq Laison 1.1 8 Metropolis 1.1 9 Catch 1.0 10 Querious 1.0

The table below is the top 10 Destruction in April:

 Trillions 1 Lonetrek 3.0 2 Pure Blind 2.3 3 The Forge 2.3 4 The Citadel 1.9 5 Black Rise 1.6 6 Domain 1.4 7 Tribute 1.1 8 Deklein 1.1 9 Metropolis 1.1 10 Sinq Laison 1.1

Destruction is one of those stats that does see a reasonable amount of change in the rankings.  As you would expect, the major Trade Hubs are right up there most of the time (The Forge, Domain, Sinq Laison) as well as the two regions around The Forge (The Citadel and Lonetrek).  Black Rise is always a feature in the top 10 - it is a high sec Region, with Low Sec parts, linking mostly into other high sec regions and Cloud Ring.  Seems to be heavily contested all the time.

That all said, i don't follow the battles too closely hence i am not too aware of why certain regions contain all the destruction.

Immensea, which made an appearance in the top 10 in July, fell way down the list whilst Tribute made a long awaited return to the top 10, last seen in April.

Imports and Exports

I normally watch the Imports and Exports as an indicator on the travel of goods or, more recently, the movement of war.

Now, here is an interesting note: whilst Trade was down, imports & exports was up 15.4%.  Seems people where clearly moving stuff around.  It rose to levels not seen since World War Bee.

The notable risers for exports were: Aridia up 182% (though this may be reversing what was a very large import number in July); Delve up 170%; Khanid up 59%; Kor-Azor up 51%; Pure Blind up 49%.

Whilst the notable new net large net importers where: Delve; Tribute; and Venal.  I am not sure why these places should suddenly see a spike in net imports though i assume Citadels may have something to do with it.  Certainly Delve and Tribute also saw a large increase in Production also.

Worth also noting that Deklein, home of the losing side in World War Be, saw some net exports this month following 3 months of net imports - the victors moving out?

Items of note in the Sinks and Faucets

Well, in August we had a small outflow of ISK from the game to the tune of 500bn ISK.

Nothing to do with the existing player base - they were as active as before and generated a healthy 26.3 trillion inflow of ISK into the game.

It was the £26.8 trillion ISK leaving the game due to accounts retiring that caused the net outflow.

Infact, during June / July / August the ISK leaving the game due to accounts retiring has been 20 - 26bn which is a sharp rise on the c10bn we say in Feb / March / April / May.

Now, before we press the panic button of "players leaving Eve" this could represent higher wealth players leaving the game.  Personally, i am putting it down to perhaps a fall out from World War Bee that is seeing more than the normal volume of accounts retire or with the launch of Citadels there is something that the data is not picking up (can't think of what though).

Looking at the month on month changes:

Transaction taxes and Broker fees fell by 4% each to 7.5 trillion and 10.2 trillion respectively which is inline with the fall in Trade.

Worth noting the effects that the changes in the tax system have had: go back to February and Transaction tax cost us 9.8 trillion vs Broker fees of 5.9 trillion.  Following the tax changes that relationship has now changes with Broker fees costing more.

Recall that on 27 April 2016, Transaction Tax (a tax on items sold) went from 1.5% to 2.0% and Broker Fees (a tax on orders placed on the market for future fulfillment) went from 1% to 3%.

Now, the total of Broker fees and Transaction taxes in February was 15.7 trillion for Trade that was 977.1 trillion.  In other words, the cost of doing business was 1.6% - now, i know that a broker fee incurred in one month need not relate to trade done in that month but it is a good approximation.  Roll forward to August and the cost of doing business has more than doubled to 3.6%.  in fact, trade has fallen 49% since February but Broker Fees + Transaction Taxes have risen by 13%.  I might have once mentioned that Eve was going Communist . . . . . . . . !  Now, i am not asking for sympathy to be directed at the multi-billionaires and trillionaires in Eve - but these higher taxes are either dealt with by higher prices or lower profits.  I am putting my money on higher prices.

Blueprints fell 4% to 4.3 trillion - back towards a more normal level, seems like Citadel blueprint buying is working its way out of the system.

Skills are down 4% to a new low since February of 8.5 trillion - no real view why.

Bounty prizes fell 7% to 39.5 trillion - to me, bounty prizes are a measure of player activity unless there is a major war going on somewhere.  Reconciles well this month with the 7% fall in mining and 5% fall in destruction.  I find that the direction of Mining is normally the same as the direction of Bounty Prizes (though has no correlation with the direction of Trade).  From that, i conclude that player activity was lower in August.

Incursions payouts rose 14% to 10.4 trillion - getting back to the more normal peace time incursion activity.

Insurance inflow (5.5 trillion inflow less 2.4 trillion outflow) is running at more normal levels after World War Bee.  For what it is worth, i have never seen a month where the insurance paid out has been exceeded by the insurance premiums collected.  Which ever part of Eve runs the insurance businesses, they are sure in financial trouble!

Project Discovery hitting a new low of 75.8 billion inflow.  It started at 340 billion back in March and has been on decline ever since.

One odd item of note, there is a small sink called "Celestial", i have no idea what it is but it has a suspiciously round numbered outflow each month: Feb = 74.7 billion (i.e. an exact 74,700,000,000); March = 45.0; April = 2.7; May 8.1; June = 18.0; July 3.6; August 3.6.

Items of note in the Money Supply

Nothing to say this month other than money supply fell back after a welcome rise in July.  There was nothing of note during the month either.

The greatest inflow of ISK into the game as a % of the prior day's ISK was on 17 October 2014 when 4.9 trillion ISK came into the game (=0.66% of the prior day's ISK in the game).  And indeed 18 October 2014 was the third largest day with 4.1 trillion ISK coming into the game.  Not sure why this would be: Plex went over 800m though that itself would not cause ISK to flow into the game; may also relate to SOMER Blink reimbursing prior deposits (see paragraph below).

The greatest outflow of ISK from the game occured on 20 August 2014 when a massive 32.7 trillion ISK left the game (=4.3% of the prior day's ISK in the game).  Most likely to do with the banning of SOMER Blink from the game on that day.  To put this in perspective, the next largest outflow of ISK was on 8 January 2016 when 4.8 trillion left the game (=0.52% of the prior day's ISK in the game) - again, most likely due to a banning event: The Latest IWANTISK Ban Wave.  Seems at least to be a pattern to the major outflow days = banning days.

Mapping all that onto Plex Prices

I greatly suspect players, like myself, use surplus ISK generated each month to buy Plex.  When i say "surplus" i of course mean surplus to all other requirements - at the end off the day, ISK sitting in my wallet will never grow.  It should either be about to be invested into my business or should Buy Plex.

Normally, there is 20 - 30 trillion of surplus ISK generated which, through the mechanisms of trading, makes its way nicely up to the business owners and bankers in Eve.  When i say surplus ISK, i mean the difference between the Faucets and the Sinks.  The ISK that leaves with retiring players is not a factor in all this - though the absence of those retiring players may become a factor in future periods.

They then park some of that in Plex.  That is what makes Plex an inflation hedge - where inflation is defined as money supply.  That is, the rising amount of ISK in Eve.

As a rule, surplus ISK is normally generated by existing players each month.  However, we have had three recent events which have disrupted that flow.

Firstly, World War Bee, i suspect, will have seen a higher than normal selling pressure to finance the war.  For a few months that extra ISK generated went into financing the war and i suspect hoarded reserves of Plex were sold to help out.  That i suspect is now largely over.

Secondly, Citadel building will also have seen a higher than normal selling pressure to finance the cost of building Citadels.  That appears to be scaling back to more of an ongoing expense rather than the rush we saw recently.

Thirdly, the rise in Transaction Taxes and Broker Fees has added a further 5 trillion of additional ISK sink to Eve.  Worth noting that it was an additional 15 trillion ISK sink until players discovered "off-shoring".  That is here to stay though good to see player innovation minimizing its affect.

The point here is that the recent headwinds to ISK generation are now lessening, indeed almost gone, such that we are again generating surplus ISK and so Plex rises have started to rise again in response.  When those headwinds were the strongest in April and May we saw ISK leave the economy and so Plex prices fell.  Prior to those months, ISK only left Eve on three prior occasions - August 2014, April 2014 and March 2014.