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This is a guide to help improve understanding of trading in [[EU4]].
 
This is a guide to help improve understanding of trading in [[EU4]].
  
== Producing trade value ==
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=== Producing trade value ===
 
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Trade value is the sum of {{icon|local goods produced}} locally produced goods and the inputs from trade nodes flowing in (upstream), and minus the value forwarded to other trade nodes (downstream). To increase the trade value of a node a player can:
 
Trade value is the sum of {{icon|local goods produced}} locally produced goods and the inputs from trade nodes flowing in (upstream), and minus the value forwarded to other trade nodes (downstream). To increase the trade value of a node a player can:
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Because {{icon|merchant}} merchants increase trade steered out of a node, by far the most lucrative method of increasing trade is to place merchants in a chain of controlled nodes so that each merchant compounds the value of trade it passes on to the next.
 
Because {{icon|merchant}} merchants increase trade steered out of a node, by far the most lucrative method of increasing trade is to place merchants in a chain of controlled nodes so that each merchant compounds the value of trade it passes on to the next.
  
== Controlling trade nodes ==
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=== Controlling trade nodes ===
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=== Trade power share ===
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==== Trade power share ====
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Control of a trade node is dictated by a country's Trade Power share in that node. Thus, to control a desired node, a country should increase its Trade Power share in that node. Merchants only provide a token amount of Trade Power, and sending power upstream is extremely inefficient due to the -80% penalty (stacks multiplicatively, not additively, with other modifiers) for doing so. Thus, Trade Power largely comes from provinces and Light Ships. Effective ways on increasing one's share of Trade Power in a node therefore include:
 
Control of a trade node is dictated by a country's Trade Power share in that node. Thus, to control a desired node, a country should increase its Trade Power share in that node. Merchants only provide a token amount of Trade Power, and sending power upstream is extremely inefficient due to the -80% penalty (stacks multiplicatively, not additively, with other modifiers) for doing so. Thus, Trade Power largely comes from provinces and Light Ships. Effective ways on increasing one's share of Trade Power in a node therefore include:
  
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Countries with low Trade Power share in a node benefit more from increasing their own Trade Power there than reducing the Trade Power of other countries. Likewise, countries with high Trade Power share in a node benefit more from reducing the Trade Power share of other countries than increasing their own Trade Power, although it is important to note that highly monopolized trade nodes increases the [[privateer]] efficiency, adding the need to hunt pirates to avoid losing power and money; Conquering provinces is an attractive option to increase the trade power as it allows a country to do both (increasing their own Trade Power and reducing the Trade Power of other countries) at the same time.
 
Countries with low Trade Power share in a node benefit more from increasing their own Trade Power there than reducing the Trade Power of other countries. Likewise, countries with high Trade Power share in a node benefit more from reducing the Trade Power share of other countries than increasing their own Trade Power, although it is important to note that highly monopolized trade nodes increases the [[privateer]] efficiency, adding the need to hunt pirates to avoid losing power and money; Conquering provinces is an attractive option to increase the trade power as it allows a country to do both (increasing their own Trade Power and reducing the Trade Power of other countries) at the same time.
  
=== Desirable trade nodes ===
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==== Desirable trade nodes ====
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Desirable trade nodes to control include:
 
Desirable trade nodes to control include:
 
* Nodes with high Trade Value, whether from local production or from upstream nodes.
 
* Nodes with high Trade Value, whether from local production or from upstream nodes.
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* Central Asian countries can use inland trading bonuses to earn a sizeable income from the paths of the Silk Road, pushing trade from Central China and the Asian Steppes through Samarkand to Persia.
 
* Central Asian countries can use inland trading bonuses to earn a sizeable income from the paths of the Silk Road, pushing trade from Central China and the Asian Steppes through Samarkand to Persia.
  
=== Embargoing ===
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==== Embargoing ====
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* It is rarely worth embargoing a country that is not a rival:
 
* It is rarely worth embargoing a country that is not a rival:
 
** Given that the attacker is willing to embargo the defender, they probably don't care about the diplomatic penalty for declaring rivals either.
 
** Given that the attacker is willing to embargo the defender, they probably don't care about the diplomatic penalty for declaring rivals either.
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** It is important to note, however, that embargoes are global. Be sure to check all of the relevant trade nodes before choosing whether or not to embargo a country, as countries which have shared interests in one node may have competing interests in another.
 
** It is important to note, however, that embargoes are global. Be sure to check all of the relevant trade nodes before choosing whether or not to embargo a country, as countries which have shared interests in one node may have competing interests in another.
  
== Distributing merchants ==
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=== Distributing merchants ===
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Merchants are best sent where their country controls the most Trade Power, since the amount of income (when collecting) or steered trade (when steering) is proportional to the Trade Power controlled.  
 
Merchants are best sent where their country controls the most Trade Power, since the amount of income (when collecting) or steered trade (when steering) is proportional to the Trade Power controlled.  
  
=== Collecting trade in capital ===
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==== Collecting trade in capital ====
 
The capital trade node (or main trade port, with [[Wealth of Nations]]) collects trade automatically, regardless whether a merchant is active there or not. Sending a merchant to collect in the capital merely adds an additional {{green|+10%}}{{icon|trade income}}Trade Income to that specific capital trade node, which is a bonus not granted to other nodes when collecting. Collecting in the capital is generally only worth it for countries that have Trade Power concentrated in fewer trade nodes than they have Merchants.
 
The capital trade node (or main trade port, with [[Wealth of Nations]]) collects trade automatically, regardless whether a merchant is active there or not. Sending a merchant to collect in the capital merely adds an additional {{green|+10%}}{{icon|trade income}}Trade Income to that specific capital trade node, which is a bonus not granted to other nodes when collecting. Collecting in the capital is generally only worth it for countries that have Trade Power concentrated in fewer trade nodes than they have Merchants.
  
 
Stationing a Merchant in the capital increases the income there by 10%, whereas collecting with a Merchant in another node halves the Trade Power. Thus, in most cases a country would have to control more than five times as much Trade Value in the capital as another node to justify stationing a Merchant in the capital. For instance: If a country has 10 {{icon|ducats}}ducats worth of Trade Value in their main trade node and 2 {{icon|ducats}}ducats in another node, stationing a Merchant in their home node would increase their income by 10% to 11{{icon|ducats}}ducats, while stationing that same merchant in the other node would add 1 {{icon|ducats}}ducat to the 10 they're getting from their main trade port, giving them a total of 11 as well.
 
Stationing a Merchant in the capital increases the income there by 10%, whereas collecting with a Merchant in another node halves the Trade Power. Thus, in most cases a country would have to control more than five times as much Trade Value in the capital as another node to justify stationing a Merchant in the capital. For instance: If a country has 10 {{icon|ducats}}ducats worth of Trade Value in their main trade node and 2 {{icon|ducats}}ducats in another node, stationing a Merchant in their home node would increase their income by 10% to 11{{icon|ducats}}ducats, while stationing that same merchant in the other node would add 1 {{icon|ducats}}ducat to the 10 they're getting from their main trade port, giving them a total of 11 as well.
  
=== Where to steer trade ===
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==== Where to steer trade ====
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Merchants set to steer trade have two effects; these will determine whether it is worth using a merchant to steer trade at a particular node.
 
Merchants set to steer trade have two effects; these will determine whether it is worth using a merchant to steer trade at a particular node.
  
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** Where there are not already other Merchants boosting trade, since each Merchant increases boost by less than the last.
 
** Where there are not already other Merchants boosting trade, since each Merchant increases boost by less than the last.
  
=== Collecting versus steering ===
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==== Collecting versus steering ====
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Ultimately, Trade Value has to be collected to be of any use. In most cases, it is better for a country to collect and gain 100% of their controlled Trade Value in a node than to send it downstream to somewhere that other countries will take a cut out of it. However, if a country dominates the downstream node as well, the boost for steering trade can result in a net benefit. Therefore, some rules of thumb for collecting versus steering at a trade node are:
 
Ultimately, Trade Value has to be collected to be of any use. In most cases, it is better for a country to collect and gain 100% of their controlled Trade Value in a node than to send it downstream to somewhere that other countries will take a cut out of it. However, if a country dominates the downstream node as well, the boost for steering trade can result in a net benefit. Therefore, some rules of thumb for collecting versus steering at a trade node are:
  
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* If a country has enough Merchants and controls multiple trade nodes, it is advisable not to steer directly to the trade capital, but to  make the money pass through as many other nodes as possible, since it multiplies the amount of money by passing through a node.
 
* If a country has enough Merchants and controls multiple trade nodes, it is advisable not to steer directly to the trade capital, but to  make the money pass through as many other nodes as possible, since it multiplies the amount of money by passing through a node.
  
== Moving the Trade Capital ==
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=== Moving the Trade Capital ===
 
{{expansion|won}}
 
{{expansion|won}}
 
It is advisable that a country moves its trade capital to an end-node (from which no money can be steered) over the course of the game. The end nodes available in the game are:  
 
It is advisable that a country moves its trade capital to an end-node (from which no money can be steered) over the course of the game. The end nodes available in the game are:  
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To be able to move its trade capital, a country must spend {{red|200}} {{icon|dip}} diplomatic power. It is recommended that the player expands towards one of these wealthier nodes through the course of the game, and to make sure they have at least one center of trade in said node and enough light ships to be able to protect trade effectively against other powers in the area.
 
To be able to move its trade capital, a country must spend {{red|200}} {{icon|dip}} diplomatic power. It is recommended that the player expands towards one of these wealthier nodes through the course of the game, and to make sure they have at least one center of trade in said node and enough light ships to be able to protect trade effectively against other powers in the area.
  
== Marginals ==
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=== Marginals ===
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The '''marginal trade power share''' with respect to trade power in a node is
 
The '''marginal trade power share''' with respect to trade power in a node is
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For example, if a country controls 25% of a trade node that has 150 total trade power, the marginal increase in trade power share per trade power is (1 - 0.25) / 150 = 0.5%. Keep in mind that own trade power refers to the net trade power, not base trade power, and is affected by e.g. Trade Efficiency and the halving for collecting outside the capital.
 
For example, if a country controls 25% of a trade node that has 150 total trade power, the marginal increase in trade power share per trade power is (1 - 0.25) / 150 = 0.5%. Keep in mind that own trade power refers to the net trade power, not base trade power, and is affected by e.g. Trade Efficiency and the halving for collecting outside the capital.
  
=== Collecting ===
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==== Collecting ====
 
If collecting, the '''marginal revenue collected''' (i.e. actual ducats) is
 
If collecting, the '''marginal revenue collected''' (i.e. actual ducats) is
  
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   d(R)/d(P<sub>Own_net</sub>) = .018
 
   d(R)/d(P<sub>Own_net</sub>) = .018
  
===Forwarding===
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====Forwarding====
 
(Discrepancy between this section and previous correct information in the wiki: If a nation is not collecting in a node, nor any node downstream, even through multiple hops, then it is not eligible to influence trade value in this node. The nation's share of trade value is then redistributed among nations that are eligible. Thus trade power of the nation in this node is effectively wasted.)
 
(Discrepancy between this section and previous correct information in the wiki: If a nation is not collecting in a node, nor any node downstream, even through multiple hops, then it is not eligible to influence trade value in this node. The nation's share of trade value is then redistributed among nations that are eligible. Thus trade power of the nation in this node is effectively wasted.)
  
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=== European trade goods ===
 
=== European trade goods ===
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The best European trade goods are {{icon|cloth}} cloth, {{icon|copper}} copper (early- to mid-game) and {{icon|iron}} iron (mid- to late-game). Due to price events {{icon|cloth}} cloth gets {{green|+35%}} price and {{icon|iron}} iron gets {{green|+50%}} by endgame. {{icon|copper}} Copper also has {{green|+50%}} price between {{icon|mil tech}} military tech 7 and 18, and remains at {{green|+15%}} afterwards. It is wise to prioritize building production buildings and manufactories on provinces producing {{icon|iron}} iron, {{icon|copper}} copper and {{icon|cloth}} cloth, and to avoid building them in provinces that produce {{icon|wool}} wool, {{icon|fish}} fish and {{icon|grain}} grain. By late-game the price of {{icon|wool}} wool and {{icon|fish}} fish will decline by up to {{red|-30%}} and {{red|-20%}}, respectively. {{icon|salt}} Salt is also relatively valuable to begin with, and increases by {{green|+10%}} about midway through the game. In a long run, mostly if planning to colonize North America, {{icon|fur}} fur is going to get massive bonuses.
 
The best European trade goods are {{icon|cloth}} cloth, {{icon|copper}} copper (early- to mid-game) and {{icon|iron}} iron (mid- to late-game). Due to price events {{icon|cloth}} cloth gets {{green|+35%}} price and {{icon|iron}} iron gets {{green|+50%}} by endgame. {{icon|copper}} Copper also has {{green|+50%}} price between {{icon|mil tech}} military tech 7 and 18, and remains at {{green|+15%}} afterwards. It is wise to prioritize building production buildings and manufactories on provinces producing {{icon|iron}} iron, {{icon|copper}} copper and {{icon|cloth}} cloth, and to avoid building them in provinces that produce {{icon|wool}} wool, {{icon|fish}} fish and {{icon|grain}} grain. By late-game the price of {{icon|wool}} wool and {{icon|fish}} fish will decline by up to {{red|-30%}} and {{red|-20%}}, respectively. {{icon|salt}} Salt is also relatively valuable to begin with, and increases by {{green|+10%}} about midway through the game. In a long run, mostly if planning to colonize North America, {{icon|fur}} fur is going to get massive bonuses.
  
 
=== Colonial and Asian trade goods ===
 
=== Colonial and Asian trade goods ===
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{{icon|silk}} Silk, {{icon|ivory}} ivory, {{icon|cocoa}} cocoa, {{icon|dyes}} dyes, {{icon|sugar}} sugar, {{icon|cotton}} cotton, {{icon|coffee}} coffee, and {{icon|tobacco}} tobacco are the best trade goods as they have price-increasing events that boost their prices further at different points throughout the game. Dyes start with relatively high price and gets {{green|+25%}} price increase mid-game, but will likely drop back to its normal value around 1700 when the "[[Price_Change_events#Dye_Plantations_of_Bengal|Dye Plantations of Bengal]]" event fires. {{icon|spices}} Spices and {{icon|chinaware}} chinaware both get {{green|+50%}} price increases mid-game, but decrease by {{red|-40%}} and {{red|-50%}} respectively later on.
 
{{icon|silk}} Silk, {{icon|ivory}} ivory, {{icon|cocoa}} cocoa, {{icon|dyes}} dyes, {{icon|sugar}} sugar, {{icon|cotton}} cotton, {{icon|coffee}} coffee, and {{icon|tobacco}} tobacco are the best trade goods as they have price-increasing events that boost their prices further at different points throughout the game. Dyes start with relatively high price and gets {{green|+25%}} price increase mid-game, but will likely drop back to its normal value around 1700 when the "[[Price_Change_events#Dye_Plantations_of_Bengal|Dye Plantations of Bengal]]" event fires. {{icon|spices}} Spices and {{icon|chinaware}} chinaware both get {{green|+50%}} price increases mid-game, but decrease by {{red|-40%}} and {{red|-50%}} respectively later on.
  

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