As we wait for Odyssey data to shake out, there is still a lot to talk about. As it has been almost 8 weeks since Burn Jita, the data has played out and the market has returned to normal.
Above is an averaged report of freighter market-cost vs build-cost in The Forge (Jita) through April-May. Freighters are interesting because they are essentially 100% minerals, sell at pretty steady volumes, but have a long time-to-market. This makes it a less volatile market to watch, and thus the primary target of Burn Jita.
Activity during Burn Jita 2013 was largely as expected. The market was put on hold while Jita became impassible. This is reflected by a flat and depressed sales volume over the event, with very stable prices for materials and final product. People who prepared ahead of time already had their affairs in order, and anyone who still needed items delayed their purchases.
The strange thing to note is the weekend after. A spike in sales volume, a plunge in materials value, and a general slide in sale price. To everyone who has taken Economics 101, this seems to be completely counter-intuitive. A spike in demand should move the price of an item up, and freighters can take up to 2 weeks to go from raw minerals to finished freighter, (which is not reflected in the above graph). This picture shows the exact opposite of expected behavior.
Under the Surface
The truth of the matter is very few people are caught off guard by Burn Jita, even if pre- and post-activities outside the announced time did catch some extra prey. Unfortunately for the sponsors, word-of-mouth and news before the event warned the vast majority of potential victims. The best defense is to remember your first rule of EVE: Don’t undock what you aren’t willing to lose.
This explains the freeze on demand, and starts to explain the fallout the weekend after. What happened here was the entire industrial supply line was put on hold, but did not stop. This lead to a rubber-band effect as the floodgates opened when the routes were safe. Supply outstripped demand, and prices fell.
The most interesting thing is this isn’t so much that a particular item class saw an inverse response, but that the effects can be seen across all levels, from raw materials to finished product. Below is an amalgam of raw mineral prices over the 4 week span in question.
The other clearly illustrated point here is that this starve-and-gorge cycle was a reasonably quick event. Normality is returning at expected rates in relation to market volumes. As the mineral charts show, prices rebounded right back to normal by the following Monday. Many other products will take longer to get there, though. While the exact dips in prices are masked by scale in the above graph, they show quite clearly on the freighter build chart. Furthermore, accounting for “Real Build Time” means these cheap materials will take some time wash through the market.