Holy PLEX Batman

Another reminder of how funny markets can be. EVE’s market system is one of the best in any game, especially in the way it often reminds me of stock markets in the real world.

PLEX has been trading steadily around 300 million for a long long time. Of course there are some ups and downs, but somehow it always seems to come back to 300 million. This is remarkable in itself, since there is actually no real reason that a month of gametime is valued as such. It’s all a consensus among the players and market forces that push the price up or down whenever it deviates.

Right now, however, PLEX prices have spiked incredibly all over the universe. Well, ok, I can only see the market in Jita, Amarr and Rens but I don’t think the other trade hubs are any better. Last night PLEX was selling for 340 million, and buy orders were at 330+.

I suspect that the reason for this increase is the guy who lost 74 PLEX in a Kestrel. No, not because the 74 PLEX actually represents a dip in the supply, although I’m sure that would have some limited effect but frankly it’s a drop in the bucket compared to the volume of PLEX traded everyday. I think what this episode has done is to suddenly bring to everyone’s attention that, yes, PLEX can now be destroyed. While on an intellectual level this was obvious the moment CCP announced the PLEX change I think more than a month ago, people are funny creatures.

In my previous job, I was involved in commodities trading, mainly jet fuel. Every year, there would be a spike in jet fuel spot prices on the first day of snow in winter. Without fail. Everyone knew for weeks that it was winter, which would likely lead to increased demand for heating oil and thus push up the price of jet fuel. And yet, the mere sight of streets covered in snow would send prices shooting up as if it was a sudden revelation.

Similarly with PLEX, prices remained stable for so long after the change, until this incident. I have a gut feeling that the current spike is an overreaction, and there will soon come a wave of profit taking together with a slight decrease in prices. But it’s highly likely that PLEX will no longer trade at 300 million, and will likely find a support level around 320 million (my personal guess, don’t hoard PLEX and blame me later). Right now prices have declined slightly and they are selling at 330, with buy orders at 325. Me and my wife bought a couple just in case prices continue to climb after the short dip, which often happens in the stock market. Now our subscriptions have been extended to mid-October, and I still have 4 more in my hangar (no, I’m not undocking with them).

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