Trade

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Imperator: Rome tutorial #4 - economy and trade.
The trade overview interface

Trade involves the movement of surplus trade goods from one province to another, producing Commerce value.png commerce income for both the importer and the exporter. It is one of the two main ways that a country produces income and allows a country to profit from surplus production, potentially allowing countries with valuable and exotic trade goods to become much wealthier than their population base would suggest. An overview of all trade routes in the country as well as various automatic controls can be viewed in the Top bar trade.png Trade Overview screen.

Trade Routes[edit]

See also: Trade goods

A Global state trade routes.png trade route is the movement of a trade good from one province, the exporter to another, the importer. One of the main effects of a trade route is to effectively move trade goods from one province to another, meaning that the importing province will get the bonuses from the imported trade good as though it was produced there, and the exported will not get the bonus from the exported trade good even though it was produced there. This is particularly useful for accumulating surpluses of trade goods in the Country capital.png capital province, as well as obtaining food trade goods if the population of a province outstrips its food supply.

Trade routes are also important for the Commerce value.png commerce income that they give to both the importing and exporting provinces. The base Commerce value.png commerce value of a trade route is determined by the base trade value of the trade good, varying between Wealth 0.20 gold and Wealth 0.50 gold with valuable and exotic goods like Gemstones gemstones or Incense incense worth much more than common trade goods such as Grain grain and Wood wood. The base trade value is then multiplied by a certain factor based on the the type of the trade route, and whether the province is the importer or the exporter:

  • ×1 for the exporter in a foreign trade route
  • ×0.35 for the importer in a foreign trade route
  • ×0.20 for both the importer and the exporter in a domestic trade route

The commerce income for the importing province is then modified by the province and country Import value import value modifiers, and similarly by the province and country Export value export value modifiers for the exporting province. As it is commerce income that is generated, trade route income is also modified by the local and national Commerce value.png commerce income modifiers. Note that all countries begin with a base Export value +20% export value modifier, so all exports are in fact worth more than they would at first appear.

Therefore, foreign trade routes are always more valuable than domestic trade routes and should always be preferred if possible, compensating for how they are more difficult to create (and keep). Exporters will also in general earn more gold from trade than importers, in exchange for losing the effect of the trade good. Generally speaking exporting is almost always better than keeping the trade good for its bonus, unless a capital surplus would be lost or the province needs the trade good for its Monthly food.png food supply.

In order to create a trade route, the potential exporter must have a surplus of that good (i.e. produces at least 2 of that trade good), the potential importer must have at least 1 unused Global state trade routes.png import route, and there must be trade access between the two provinces. Provinces belonging to the same country (i.e. domestic trade routes) always have trade access, but creating a trade route between provinces belonging to different countries (foreign trade routes) requires that the exporter be within Diplomatic range.png diplomatic range of the importer (note that the inverse does not necessarily have to apply) and that the two countries are not at war. For foreign trade routes, the exporting country must also approve the trade, which they will generally do as long as Opinion relations are not poor and doing the trade will not result in the loss of a capital surplus bonus.

Creating a new import route also costs a base of Wealth 5 gold for the importer, modified by the Create trade route cost Create Trade Route Cost modifier, given in particular by Invention.png inventions and Mercantile stance.

Once a trade route is established, it will remain in place as long as the importing province has enough Global state trade routes.png trade routes, the exporting province has enough of the trade good to fulfill all trades, both provinces remain under the same owner as when the trade route was established, and the two countries (if relevant) are not War.png at war. If any of the conditions are not met, trade routes will be automatically cancelled until they are fulfilled again (particularly, this means that all trade routes will be cancelled if at war, which means that going to war with a major trading partner can result in considerable economic disruption).

As a passive modifier, every active import and export route also gives Promotion +2.50% pop promotion speed to every territory in the province.

Import routes[edit]

Every province has a maximum number of import routes that they are allowed to have. Once a province reaches its maximum, it will no longer be able to create more import routes, and if the number of import routes is higher than the maximum then the most recent trade routes created will be cancelled until the number of import routes is at the cap again. Note that there is no limit to how many exports a province can have, other than the amount of surplus trade goods it produces.

The base number of import routes in for each territory is determined by the sum of the Local base trade routes.png Local base trade routes modifiers, modified by the Local base trade routes.png Local base trade routes modifier; this is then summed up across all the territories in the province and then rounded down to get the baseline maximum number of import routes for the province. Local base trade routes.png Local import routes are produced only by Pop noble.png noble and Citizens citizen pops, who produce Local base trade routes.png +0.15 Local import routes and Local base trade routes.png +0.03 Local import routes per pop, respectively. Local base trade routes is determined by infrastructure - Local base trade routes.png +10% Local base trade routes for each Port icon.png port in the province (applying to all territories, not just the territory the port is in), Local base trade routes.png +5% Local base trade routes for every Ability road building.png road connecting the territory to another territory, and Local base trade routes.png +2.5% Local base trade routes for every Market marketplace in the territory, available only to Territory city.png cities or Territory metropolis.png metropolises.

This baseline maximum can then be modified at a province level by the Global state trade routes.png Local import routes province modifier, for all provinces in the country by the Global state trade routes.png Province import routes country modifier, and for the Country capital.png capital province specifically by the Global capital trade routes.png Capital import routes modifier. Apart from as a bonus from various events, decisions, and missions, the Oratory province investment Entice Business Investments province investment also gives Global state trade routes.png +1 Local import routes, making it in general the fastest and easiest way to increase the number of trade routes a province has as long as the country has enough Political influence.png political power; the Territory metropolis.png metropolis territory rank also gives +1 Local import routes. The Global state trade routes.png Province import routes modifier is given only by the Idea tariff exceptions.png Institute Tariff Exceptions national idea, which gives Global state trade routes.png +1 Province import routes. Global capital trade routes.png Capital import routes, though has many possible static sources, listed below:

Type Modifier Global capital trade routes.png Capital import routes
Country rank Country rank 4.png Regional Power +1
 Country rank 5.png Major Power +2
 Country rank 6.png Great Power +2
Inventions Invention.png Logistics Bureau (Civic Tech 1) +1
 Invention.png River Barges (Civic Tech 4) +1
 Invention.png River Outposts (Civic Tech 6) +1
 Invention.png Maritime Patrols (Civic Tech 10) +1
 Invention.png Encourage Exploration (Civic Tech 14) +1
 Invention.png Trade Ports (Civic Tech 8) +1
Government Political influence.png Plutocratic Monarchy (Monarchy) +1
 Political influence.png Plutocratic Republic (Republic) +1
Economic policies Commerce value.png Trading Permits (Commerce policy) +2
Deities State religion.png Al-Quam (Arabic deity)
 State religion.png Caleb (Jewish deity)
National ideas Idea trading posts.png Patronized Trading Posts (Civic Tech 11) +3
Heritages Flag of Praesos Minoan Heritage (Praesos) +1
 Flag of Epikrateia Epikrateia Heritage (Epikrateia) +1
 Bosporan Heritage (cultural) +1

Unused import routes in a province give Commerce value.png +0.06 commerce income, which is not modified by Import value import value but is still affected by Commerce value.png commerce income modifiers. This means that increasing the amount of trade routes a province has is always beneficial even if no imports can actually be made, although importing actual trade goods will almost always produce more gold even before considering the additional benefits of having more trade goods in a province.

Commerce income[edit]

Commerce value.png Trade routes create commerce income on both sides of the trade, with the bulk of the income generally going to the exporter. Commerce income is calculated on a per-province basis as the sum of all trade route income (including import routes, export routes, and income from unused trade routes), modified by the Commerce value.png Province commerce province modifier and the Commerce value.png National commerce income country modifier, the sum of which across all provinces a country determines the country's total commerce income. The value of each individual trade route is determined by the trade value of the trade good involved, whether the trade route is foreign or domestic and if the province is the importer or the exporter, and the effects of either Import value import value and Export value export value modifiers. Note that commerce income modifiers stack additively with each other, but multiplicatively with Import value import value and Export value export value modifiers as they modify the income from trade routes directly.

Important Commerce value.png Commerce Income modifiers include:

  • +2% per ruler Civic power.png finesse (or Consort/co-Consul if higher)
  • +2.5% by each level of Civic power.png Civic Advances
  • +5% with a capital surplus of Dates Dates
  • +2% for each Camels camels trade good in the province
  • +5% with the Invention.png State Harbor Fees invention (requires Civic power.png Civic Advances 3)
  • +10% with the Invention.png Mandated Record Keeping invention (requires Civic power.png Civic Advances 20)
  • -25% for regions with a Position governor, plus an additional -0.125% per governor Corruption.png corruption
  • +2.5% per governor Civic power.png finesse plus a base of +2.5% with the Policy encourage trade.png Encourage Trade governor policy
  • +2% per governor Civic power.png finesse plus a base of +2% with the Policy bleed them dry.png Bleed Them Dry governor policy
  • +1% per governor Civic power.png finesse plus a base of +1% with the Policy acquisition of wealth.png Acquisition of Wealth governor policy
  • +20% with the Idea complex tariffs.png Complex Tariffs National idea
  • +15% for various Change pantheon cost modifier.png pantheon deities
  • +12% per Omen.png 100% omen power for various omens
  • +10% for Plutocratic Monarchies and Republics
  • +15% with the Non-Interference Edict Monarchy law
  • +20% with the Barter Economy Statutes Tribal law
  • +25% when using the Mercantile stance Mercantile Stance
  • +20% for Country rank 2.png City States
  • +5% for each Vassalized.png colony