Trade involves the movement of surplus trade goods from one province to another, producing 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 Trade Overview screen.
- See also: Trade goods
A 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 exporting province 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 capital province, as well as obtaining food trade goods if the population of a province outstrips its food supply.
As a passive modifier, every active import and export route also gives +2.50% pop promotion speed to every territory in the province.
Trade routes are possibly most important for the commerce income that they give to both the importing and exporting provinces. The base commerce value of a trade route is determined by the base trade value of the trade good, varying between 0.20 gold and 0.50 gold with valuable and exotic goods like gemstones or incense worth much more than common trade goods such as grain and 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 modifiers, and similarly by the province and country 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 income modifiers.
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 food supply.
Creating trade routes
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 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 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 relations are not poor and doing the trade will not result in the loss of a capital surplus bonus.
Once a trade route is established, it will remain in place as long as the importing province has enough 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 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).
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 modifiers; 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 import routes are produced only by noble and citizen pops, who produce +0.15 Local import routes and +0.03 Local import routes per pop, respectively. There are also multiplicative modifiers mostly determined by infrastructure - bonuses of +5% local base trade routes for every road connecting the territory to another territory and +2.5% local base trade routes for every marketplace in the territory, available only to cities or metropolises, while territories whose dominant culture is not an integrated culture get a -25% malus to their number of trade routes.
This baseline maximum can then be modified at a province level by the Local import routes province modifier, for all provinces in the country by the Province import routes country modifier, and for the capital province specifically by the Capital import routes modifier. Apart from as a bonus from various events, decisions, and missions, the Entice Business Investments province investment also gives +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 gold and political influence; the metropolis territory rank also gives +1 Local import routes, as does each tier of the Tax and Commerce effect for great wonders. The Province import routes modifier is given only by the Institute Tariff Exceptions national idea, which gives +1 Province import routes, and the Merchant Coast tradition of the Levantine Maritime Traditions tree. Capital import routes, though has many possible static sources, listed below:
|Type||Modifier||Capital import routes|
|Subject type||League City||+2|
|Country rank||Regional Power||+1|
|Inventions||Logistics Bureau ( Civic Invention)||+1|
|River Barges ( Civic Invention)||+1|
|Maritime Patrols ( Civic Invention)||+1|
|River Outposts ( Civic Invention)||+1|
|Encourage Exploration ( Civic Invention)||+1|
|Trade Ports ( Civic Invention)||+2|
|Indigo Dye (Indian Oratory Invention)||+1|
|Government||Plutocratic Monarchy (Monarchy)||+1|
|Plutocratic Republic (Republic)||+1|
|Economic policies||Trading Permits (Commerce policy)||+2|
|Deities||Al-Quam (Arabic deity)|
|Caleb (Jewish deity)|
|National ideas||Patronized Trading Posts (Civic Tech 4)||+3|
|Heritages||Minoan Heritage (Praesos)||+1|
|Epikrateia Heritage (Epikrateia)||+1|
|Bosporan Heritage (cultural)||+1|
Unused import routes in a province give +0.07 commerce income, which is not modified by import value but is still affected by 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.
The number of unused import routes for every province in the country can be viewed in the Trade Route mapmode.
There are a number of tools that a player can use to automatically create and accept trade deals, rather than having to manually approve every export request and set up import routes every time a province gains (or regains) an empty import route slot.
- Accept All Trades - A toggle in the trade menu. When enabled, all export requests are automatically accepted, except for those that would involve losing a capital surplus bonus.
- Block Surplus - A related toggle in the trade menu, enabled by default. If disabled, export requests that would involve losing a capital surplus bonus are automatically accepted instead of denied, which may be useful if the country needs the commerce income more.
- Permitted/Denied Requests - Two related lists of trade goods at the bottom of the trade menu. When the Accept All Trades toggle is enabled, all export requests for trade goods in the Permitted Requests list will be accepted, while all those for goods in the Denied Requests will be denied. By default, all trade goods are permitted for export.
- Automatic Trade - A toggle in the province interface, below the list of trade goods currently in the province. When enabled, the province will automatically import goods from other countries of its own accord, generally prioritizing food, though it can sometimes take up to a few months for unused import route slots to be filled. Disabled by default.
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 Province commerce province modifier and the 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 and export value modifiers. Note that commerce income modifiers stack additively with each other, but multiplicatively with import value and export value modifiers as they modify the income from trade routes directly.
- +2% per ruler finesse (or Consort/co-Consul if higher)
- +2.5% by each level of Civic Advances
- +5% with a capital surplus of Dates
- +2% for each camels trade good in the province
- +5% with the State Harbor Fees and Mandated Record Keeping Civic Inventions
- +5% with the Etruscan Pottery Italic Civic Invention
- +10% with the Odometer, Cartography, and Astrolabe Hellenistic Civic Inventions
- +5% with the Indigo Dye Indian Oratory Invention
- +10% with the Glass Beads Indian Oratory Invention
- -25% for regions with a governor, plus an additional -0.125% per governor corruption
- +2.5% per governor finesse plus a base of +2.5% with the Encourage Trade governor policy
- +2% per governor finesse plus a base of +2% with the Bleed Them Dry governor policy
- +1% per governor finesse plus a base of +1% with the Acquisition of Wealth governor policy
- +20% with the Complex Tariffs National idea
- +15% for various pantheon deities
- +12% per 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
- +5%/+7.5%/+10%/+15% for the Tax and Commerce effect for great wonders, depending on the tier
- +20% for City States
- +10% for client states and colonies
- +5% for each colony
- +10% with Heritage of Byblos, Nabatean Heritage, Western Nesiotic Heritage, Aegean Heritage, and Graeco-Pontic Heritage
- +5% with Bithynian Heritage
- -5% with Epirote Heritage and Helot Heritage