Ministry of Trade
Welcome to the new edition of General Manager News, the official voice of the Ministry of Trade. To begin, I'd like to announce that my underministers for this term are Maddog Jones (Domestic Trade) and Count Drakula (International Trade). There job will be to organise our wonderful team of apprentices to monitor markets and offer some advice to potential investors and so on.
There have been some exciting developments in the Ministry since last week, as the Ministry of Trade and the Treasury have begun working together to revolutionise our financial system, to bring in complex concepts to enrich our marketplace, such as a functional (if basic) stock market, the introduction of government bonds and how these things taken together can allow anyone to become a stakeholder.
Of course these things take time, and we are just putting together the bare bones now. However if you're interested in the concept and want your ideas to be part of it, then feel free to PM me (Iain Keers) with your thoughts. Right now we're waiting on the UK forums admin team to put together a framework for us.
OK, so it's a tradition now for me to ramble on about trends I've noticed recently on our domestic markets. Since last time I began with food, I'll bring it up again now. Food prices have been rising steadily, with Q1 and Q2 food prices being the most obvious in this regard. At one point Q1 was over £1 for the first time, meaning that new players, even with their £5 citizen fee, were pretty much stuck with Q1 food. I'm going to use some graphs to illustrate this, some of them have been taken from ereptools website which I can't recommend enough to young investors.
Here is a trend line I put together a few days ago. It's worked out by taking the average ten day price and then putting them into a graph- so it smooths out little fluctuations in the market and shows how the general trend is changing.
As you can see the trend when this was put up was one of steady rise, with only a small dip around day 26.
This next graph shows the cost of Q2 food in the UK against the international average. As it happens I made this by whacking the UK graph on top, but if you look at the scale on the Y axis you can see that it pretty much carries on. Basically this just illustrates the international difference.
The reasoning behind the pricing of Q2 food is twofold. Firstly this was instigated by an attack on our markets by the USA and allies, who bought up as much Q1 food as possible (see below)
this in turn made Q2 food a lot more desirable and boosted sales considerably. Around the same time Q2 prices began to rise, initially with the high demand meaning that cheaper smaller companies ran out of stock. Later, these prices were sustained because of escalating wage costs- now a normal wage is as high as 2*skill, which is (at skill 0-4) double what people were being paid just four months ago. Now however, the margins are widening so that selling at £2 leaves a profit margin of well over 50%, even paying higher wages. With some intervention, these prices fell to their current value of around £1.50, which is a more healthy reflection of the pound value.
With the war on, weapons demand has risen substantially. We can pinpoint the rise in both prices and wage costs at around the same time British involvement in operation Pig Mac (aka the invasion of North America) was launched. On 17th of July prices for Q1 weapons began to rise from a trough price of 0.1180 GOLD to a stable plateau of 0.1450GOLD. In GBP that is essentially a change from around £4.50 up to a standard £5.80. This apes the global trend, although the global average price of Q1 is slightly lower.
According to market analysis both Q1 and Q2 weapons are reasonably profitable enterprises to be in at the minute. However a peacetime slump could be disastrous for the industry, as the weapons market has more companies than ever.
Someone asked me last time to talk about moving tickets, something that I haven't really looked at since I was a MT General Manager back in March. As some citizens have pointed out, moving tickets is one of the most volatile industries and has its slumps. As it happens, the market is currently slumped, with prices under £8. Some companies are selling for as little as £6.90 before tax, which is essentially 69p per productivity point. It is possible to maintain such a low price, as Q1 food is regularly below that cost, but it is certainly a low for the MT industry, which is usually around £10. Cheap reliable oil is largely unavailable in the UK, so most companies are probably donating it directly to manage those prices. Oil from the UK market is usually around £0.35 per Q, considerably higher than the grain price of around £0.25. This has a knock on effect on the price of tickets.
We can see the market rise quite sharply- possibly with a number of citizens moving to fight in the wars directly, and then slumping again, though it is difficult to tell as there is no clear trend. Interestingly the peak and trough pattern mimicked the global trend. At its peak a moving ticket cost £9.55, which is still below the pre-citizenship norm.
Because the UK mainland has no source of iron, the UK has always imported. For months as ATLANTIS members we did so from Spain and the Romanian Empire. However now our main sources are Hungary (once wars are closed), Brazil and Indonesia. The effect of this on our iron markets was surprisingly low. There was a brief splurge skywards of price a couple days after the Spanish embargo was put in place, presumably as desperate GMs bought up remaining iron and drove up prices.
Now however the price of iron has roughly doubled from last month (0.0122) to a day-to-day price of about 0.0244GOLD, very expensive for a raw material, and considerably higher than the global market price of 0.0082 GOLD, a third of the price.
Global Iron Prices
OK, we've had a few issues on this front, mainly due to open wars with various countries. The wars with France & the United Netherlands are due to close soon, and hopefully once a technical issue is solved we will close some other wars as well. This will open up PEACE markets for imports/exports which will help our ailing businesses no end. Although I'm not giving out cash on this front the profit margins available mean that any GOLD spent on imports would be regained pretty quickly.
In terms of exports, some grain destinations:
UK Price: 0.0068
Bulgarian Price: 0.0106
Greek Price: 0.0130
Brazil Price: 0.0150
Ireland Price: 0.0158
Even Serbian & Russian grain, normally dirt cheap, seems to have sky-rocketed up by about 20% lately, though I wouldn't recommend exporting there just yet.
Notice for new players
There is currently a malignant (ie a predator) company on the market called King Foods. Working there is like joining a gulag, they drain your health but look like a good deal because of the marginally higher wages. If you work for them it will kill you, so I'd advise working for someone more trusted. Remember- always work for a one star company when you first start out.
The Ministry of Trade Team
Iain Keers, Count Drakula, Maddog Jones, Ariella, SilentHero, Wossoo, greggcarson, Vinners and Tortea and all the rest of the shifty people inhabiting #MoT on irc.rizon.net