Colonization has a market system based on the amount of goods the players supply to Europe.
The Market table looks like this (legend below):
|Food||€ 1||€ 3||€ 1||€ 6||€ 7||3||2||-1||0|
|Sugar||€ 4||€ 7||€ 3||€ 7||€ 1||4||6||-8||1|
|Tobacco||€ 3||€ 5||€ 2||€ 5||€ 1||4||8||-10||1|
|Cotton||€ 2||€ 5||€ 2||€ 5||€ 1||4||6||-11||1|
|Furs||€ 4||€ 6||€ 2||€ 6||€ 1||4||20||-13||1|
|Lumber||€ 2||€ 2||€ 2||€ 2||€ 4||3||2||0||0|
|Ore||€ 3||€ 6||€ 2||€ 6||€ 2||2||4||-7||0|
|Silver||€ 20||€ 20||€ 2||€ 20||€ -||8||1||-8||2|
|Horses||€ 2||€ 3||€ 2||€ 11||€ -||3||2||-3||0|
|Rum||€ 11||€ 13||€ 1||€ 20||€ -||4||4||-12||1|
|Cigars||€ 11||€ 13||€ 1||€ 20||€ -||4||4||-11||1|
|Cloth||€ 11||€ 13||€ 1||€ 20||€ -||4||4||-13||1|
|Coats||€ 11||€ 13||€ 1||€ 20||€ -||4||4||-11||1|
|Trade Goods||€ 2||€ 3||€ 2||€ 12||€ -||2||3||4||0|
|Tools||€ 2||€ 2||€ 2||€ 9||€ -||2||2||5||0|
|Muskets||€ 3||€ 3||€ 2||€ 20||€ -||2||2||6||0|
Start 1, 2 = Starting cargo price (lowest/highest)
- Low = Lowest possible drift
- High = Highest possible drift
- Burden = Extra difference between ask & bid prices (0 means ask is 1 higher than bid)
- Rise = Price rises at this traffic indicator
- Fall = Price falls at this traffic indicator
- Attrition = Amount added to traffic volume each turn (represents ability of price to recover)
- Volatility = Shift value for traffic volume
This implies e.g. the following:
-Food has a difference between buy and sell of 8 (standard = 1, plus 7 burden): so 0/8 or 1/9 or 2/10.
-With that same reasoning: the lowest start price is 0/8, the highest 2/10. During the game the price can move from 0/8 to 5/13.
-This means for e.g. sugar: starting price is between 3/5 and 6/8, price can move in the game from 2/4 to 6/8.
-The rise and fall indicators: the exact system is not clear yet, but in general: a higher "rise" indicator (silver) means that the price of the good will rise slowly when there is no supply from the New World, a lower "rise" indicator (Ore) means that it will rise quicker when there is no supply from the New World.
-The fall indicator: the lower, the faster the price drops (silver), the higher (furs), the slower it drops.
-Attrition: the lower the number below zero, the faster the price recovers (combined with rise indicator probably), the higher above zero, the faster the price drops (combined with the fall indicator). This implies that e.g. the price of tools will drop if there is no trade, the price of furs and horses will rise if there is no trade.
-Volatility: unclear, it seems that higher numbers mean bigger fluctuations, lower ones mean smaller fluctuations.
Dutch advantage: "Commodity prices don't collapse as quickly and recover more quickly". This probably implies that the Dutch have more favorable rise and fall indicators.
Other observations from the game, cheating around to view the markets of the other players:
-startprices of rum, cigars, cloth and rum are not 10/12-12/14 as would be logical from the table, but 9/11-13/15.
-the markets seem to work the same for all difficulty levels
-all markets in Europe are tightly connected, generally prices in France, Spain and England are almost the same, the Netherlands is a bit different. This is especially true for raw materials (e.g. furs), ore and silver. The prices of processed goods (rum, coats, cloth, cigars) is almost exactly the same for all players.
-While looking at the markets of the AI it appears that the prices of tools and guns only rise for the human player, not/hardly for the AIs (cheating AI :)).