As the rocket mission buzz starts to fade, the markets once again settle into the predictable: slumping prices, indifference to all things food-related, and flat wages. But, hey! Q7 weapons rose. That's something...
Food raw materials slump again hacking off 40% from its market price and pulling down the Raw Material Index by 2.28 points to 57.78. Weapon raw materials strengthen slightly +4%) for the week, but not enough to overcome the dropping food.
Low-end weapons (Q1-Q3) pulled way back from their rocket-mission highs of last week, losing half their market value over the course of the week. The mid-range Q4 & Q5 loss a bit less (39% & 22% respectively) and the high end (Q6 & Q7) held their gains with Q7 moving up 17% to a 25-day high. The Weapon Index plummets nonetheless dropping 32 points to 46.70.
Food continues to shed market value with the lower half(Q1-Q4) experiencing its fourth straight week with losses of 20% or more. In the four week period Q1 food has gone from $0.30 to $0.12,and Q4 from $1.25 to $0.47. The higher half (Q5-Q7) offer no solace as they drop 30%. A Q6 has dropped from $1.91 to $0.87. The massive indifference to food continues as the Food Index falls to a record low of 23.04, less than 25% of what food was on Day 1600.
Wages move lower but not by much. A small pickup during the rocket mission was returned as wages push down past $90. The Wage Index falls 2.71 to 30.17.
Gold dipped a toe in the waters below 1,000cc, found it liked it and dove. Gold dropped 12% for the week pushing the Gold Index down 53.92.
The Big Chart
And a closer look at the last two weeks:
The 1600 AU Index
Based off of the amount of gold a player could earn in a year by working at market wage, selling 20 weapons, 200 food (both Q6) and 1750 raw materials (split 50/50 food/weapons) the 1600 AU Index strengthens as Q6 weapons combine with gold's drop to offset weakness in raw materials, wages and Q6 food. The 1600 AU Index improves 5 points to 379.40.
Self employment profits
Another look at the profits to be had by working your own factories. Day 1741 edition:
Right off, the red negatives under Q1-Q3 weapons should set off flags. Once again they fall into the "Don't Bother" category, especially Q2. A player with a Q2 is better off selling the 400 raw materials for $92 and buying 20 Q2s on the market for $56.80 and pocketing the $35.20. Or buy another 12 Q2s. It makes no sense to produce Q1-Q3 with these market conditions. For Q4-Q7, weapons retake the lead in profits as food prices are in a prolonged slump.
Since we here at the 1600 Index feel that graphs are way sexy, our crack staff put together a graph of Q1 food and weapons self-employment profits for the last few weeks:
The reader will note the big dip by the blue line around Day 1710. That is otherwise known as The Q7 Event Horizon, the advent of Q7. Raw material prices soared, leading to a loss position in Q1 weapon. The jump on Day 1732 was the rocket mission which drove up costs of weapons. And Q1 is back in a loss position again. Q1 food held a solid profit, then raising raw materials jolted it. As raw material prices fell, however, that coincided with four weeks of ~20% losses. Food's making money, just not a lot.
Since the staff liked that so much, a graph for a Q2 was trotted out:
Looks very similar to the Q1 graph, but that loss is deep. Q2 food has come down off its heights as well, with most of its movement tied not to raw material prices, but to market indifference on pricing.
Let's not be coy, we do indeed have a Q3 graph:
The numbers are different, but the lines are similar for weapons, once again below the line.
How about hiring some help around the place? We're starting to see some leveling of wages, so perhaps we've hit equilibrium?
The rocket mission pushed profits all the way to Q3, but that didn't last long. Scarce Q4s were able to hold 100+ profits for a few days but are now in a loss position. Same with Q5 - profits for a bit but can't hold. Q6 seems to be the sweet spot as the pile of raw materials needed for a Q7 still effects their bottom line, although the strengthening of Q7's prices have pushed them to a bot above breakeven.
As market prices evaporates, each Q-level surrenders profitability. Q7 holds on, but honestly, the staff here wonders why. A Q5 is 10 health; you lose 10 health for every action. A Q5 is perfect 1-to-1 match to restore health with no leftover. But that's an editorial.
5-Day moving average
For those unfamiliar with a "moving average", in the following charts, the blue line represents the market price at 3:00 eRep time. The red line in the 5-day moving average (average of the last 5-days) of market prices. What that tells us is whether prices are trending downward (the market price is below the moving average) or trending higher (the market price is above the moving average).
Gold has been below its 5-day average (for the most part) since it peaked at 3000cc on day 1679, 63 days ago.
That drop coincides with The Q7 Event Horizon, by the way.
Weapon raw material
Day 1710 is the spike. The Q7 Event Horizon (only because The 1600 Index likes writing. that)
Food, the Other Raw Material
They are holding onto their gains from the rocket mission. The 1600 Index would be remiss (if not redundant) to point out Day 1710.
Q1 can't hold its gains.
Brings the steep four-week drop into focus.
Note: prices are reflective of a percentage of Day 1600's price (Hence the "1600 Index"). In other words if an index is quoted at 88, that days price is 88% of the price on Day 1600. Except the 1600 AU Index which represents an amount of gold one can buy given market conditions as noted in that section.
Methodology on prices: prices are taken at 3:00 eRep time. The price is the average price of buying 1,000 Raw materials, 500 Food, 100 weapons (at each quality level), and 8 gold, plus the market wage less any fraction of cc (so 240, rather than 240.1). All qualities are standardized to Q1 (per hit or per health).
Sic transit gloria mundi
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