Tuesday 15 March 2016

Speculation: Why strontium clathrates are not my biggest worry

I don't normally speculate on future changes. 

Across 2 different market games, I have found that when a community gets on board with a speculation, they go overboard and overcompensate.

Today's topic is triggered by 'Bitter's comment'

Strontium Clathrates will become the bottleneck for ice that goes into Highsec POS fuel.  Ok, this is something to see despite my earlier brushing off.

The numbers

Glacial Mass: http://games.chruker.dk/eve_online/item.php?type_id=16263
  • 69 Heavy Water
  • 414 Hydrogen Isotopes
  • 35 Liquid Ozone
  • 1 Strontium Clathrates
The equivalent in a Minmatar fuel block run  http://games.chruker.dk/eve_online/item.php?type_id=4316 with ME 10% (ignoring PI)
  • 151 Heavy Water @ 200 ISK , 0.4m3 / unit  : 30K ISK, 60 m3 total
  • 400 Hydrogen Isotopes @ 745 ISK, 0.1m3 / unit : 300K ISK, 40m3 total
  • 151 Liquid Ozone @ 350 ISK, 0.4m3 / unit : 53K ISK, 60m3 total
  • (new) 18 Strontium Clathrates @ 4,000 ISK, 2m3 / unit, 80K ISK, 40m3 total
  • roughly 60% isk is ice, the rest is PI

Yea, we will notice.  I will yearn for the days of POS fuel being 16k/unit.  At today's prices, Stront will be adding 9% to the cost of blocks.  https://www.fuzzwork.co.uk/blueprint/?typeid=4246

Current Stockpiles

He also asked "Do you think that there's a large, previously unwanted, hoard of Stront out there somewhere?"  There will be oodles of it out there.

This was a waste product of refining.  Historically 500 ISK per unit, taking up 3 m3.  (has become 2m3)

I just pulled down a C5 POS (currently for sale, we swapped a c5->c5 for a c5->c3)   The strontium was the last thing to be pulled from the site, mostly because I was bored waiting for the tower to come down.  We nearly left it behind, though in retrospective, maybe was worth hauling now.

It costs me 500 ISK/m3 for hauling out to my nullsec area, meaning it was not worth hauling.

Yes, there are large stockpiles out there, but even the largest stockpile wont last forever.

But ... who uses POS?

Wormholes do.  Large towers, sometimes multiple towers.  Citadels are coming, with a fitted medium citadel costing roughly the same as a fitted large POS, but with the ability to define when I am vulnerable, and no inherit fuel requirement.  (No more CEO's stuffing up and letting the POS forcefield down)

Staging towers where there are no usable stations, especially in lowsec and null.  These too will be a thing of the past.

Compression, refining, research and manufacture towers are OK for now, but we know that citadels are going to replace these soon.  I don't know how much fuel will be required when that happens.

Eventually even moon mining towers will be replaced (possibly by something else requiring an equivalent fuel bill).

Vanity towers will also be replaced with citadels.

I see the net demand for fuel blocks going down instead of up. 

PI demand will be fine as huge quantities of citadels are created and probably more than a few will be destroyed.

I am not sure of where the demand for ice is going to come from long term.

What happens next?

I have a broken crystal ball.  Anything said here will be over-analyzed and send market speculation into wild over-corrections (or I will be ignored by the common consensus).  I will say it anyway.

Many pilots sitting on their strontium stockpiles don't even realise it.  There will be a temporary shortage of strontium and those places with cheap stront will be bought out.  Stront will go higher than it is today.

Many Highsec manufacturers will probably hold onto their stront for a while in hopes of a bubble.

Nullsec will realise that junk called strontium they have in their hangars is actually worth something, and they will start exporting it to highsec, at least for otherwise empty return trips (it will still cost 1k isk / unit for my region in null to export stront, for a sale of 4k isk/unit)

Eventually we will reach a balance where more ice miners seek stront rather than Liquid Ozone as the bottle-neck.  I am no miner, but looking at ice compositions, anything that drops stront, drops even more ozone. 

A drop in liquid ozone prices should be a leading indicator for stabilizing stront prices.  (This may come from lowsec / nullsec mining of strontium rich ice)

Then citadels will hit, and then there will be a significant reduction in fuel usage.  It depends on whether speculators have over stockpiled as to how hard that crash is.

A good easy to use source of historical prices is at eve market data:

Before relying on any material contained on this site, users should independently verify its accuracy, currency, completeness and relevance for their purposes. The material contained on this site is not made available for the purpose of rendering professional advice. Users should seek independent professional advice in relation to their particular circumstances. https://www.afsa.gov.au/about-us/corporate-information/about-this-site-1/disclaimer-and-copyright


  1. It's worth pointing out CCP that CCP stepped away from the 400 stront per 40 blocks level. (Mostly based on Jinrai's post on Sugar's blog and the forums).

    CCP will, if a lack of Stront causes problems, possibly adjust that downwards further. Certainly I can't see CCP aiming for a crushing reduction in Highsec industry when Citadels won't launch with it and Station margins are high.

    As for continuing usage, I don't know. I see it going up because CCP are all about wealth transfers these days, but that's probably not a good idea for continued subscriptions.

  2. Another post coming soon, but in my opinion (humble or otherwise) the lack of contracts on initial launch will have a far greater impact on the viability of citadel markets.

    Also, if stront does become a burden, there is also the option of tweaking highsec ice yields (or even introducing small quantities of lowsec ice).

    We have been 'here' before when CCP said that highsec could only provide 80% of the total POS fuel load. Eve survived then, and will continue to do so.

    Some of us ... may need to re-evaluate whether we really need that extra/large pos and whether we could downgrade.

  3. Yay! Internet fame -- typically, just when I wasn't around to enjoy it :-) Apologies for the late comment...

    Thanks for the reasoned response, Foo. But I'll have to disagree -- in the short term, at least, fuel block usage will probably go *up*, not down.

    Think of all those multi-use POSes that have compression or refining modules plus any other industrial or research arrays -- and I have to assume that I'm not the only one that uses compressed ore -> POS refinery -> assembly array to minimise transportation. When the first Citadels hit people will have to pay fuel for both the industry POS and the new Citadel for refining -- an extra 5 blocks/hour according to the Structure Fitting dev-blog, or a 12.5% bump if they are currently using (and will continue to use) a large POS.

    There's not much detail on future releases, but the same will be true if they have different timings for the conversion of industrial and scientific facilities.

    I think, as it seems you do, that there will be a need for tweaks, be it production- or consumption-side. But that will take time to assess and then roll out and, until that happens, I think both Stront and fuel block prices will remain high.

    As for dropping POS sizes as we go: With all the hassle of stopping industry, pulling everything down, putting replacements up, then restarting everything again -- and doing it *again* for the next round of changes... I think most people will just shrug and try to pass the increased fuel cost on to the consumer.

    Interesting times, as always.


Posts older than 14 days are subject to moderation before being published. I do so sporadically. If you have a question regarding older posts, also evemail dotoo foo.

Blogger comments supports basic html. You can make a link 'clicky' by <a href="http://yoursite/yourpage">yoursite/yourpage</a>

While I currently accept anonymous users, please include a pseudonym. I get confused answering anonymous.

If the word verification is preventing you from adding a comment, please evemail DoToo Foo for alternative methods