Juggling commodities are trading them is intended to be part of the duty officer system, so I am reluctant to make it so easy to replicate that it might as well just be an automatic EC cost.
That being said, the juggling of commodities should be at least somewhat interesting, so I am open to ideas to make the juggling of them more rewarding and/or more interesting.
Would it be possible to get rewards from Crit trade missions such as a "Lobes" style temp buff? I crit on a Trade mission and I can buy commodities for a discounted price (in addition to Ferengi PC Lobes trait)?
What about crafting some of these commodities? I mean, seriously, we can make a phaser array but we can't make a seismic stabilizer? Or even trade in sample/materials for them?
What about making Industrial replicators an item that can only replicate large quantities of commodities on our ship but at a discounted rate? I can only replicate 100 Medical supplies or more at a time but they're each 75% of their normal cost from my normal replicator.
This would require UI work but integrating them differently into the exchange, maybe making the exchange for commodities more of a trade/barter system where I can put up 20 Medical Supplies an hope I get the 10 seismic stabilizers I asked for. Give commodities zero/almost nothing sale value with NPCs and this would become a reasonable way to get commodities you need with ones you don't.
Having prices fluctuate around the game randomly would add another level to buying them. Link DOFFs in so that (like with food changes coming) you can get certain commodities for less with certain doffs, others become unavailable.
Have vendors give you a listing of current prices "I hear my old partner is selling Self-Sealing Stem Bolts in Eta Eridani for a deep discount because he had a big deal with a couple Ferengi fall through" then have it expire after a certain amount of time.
Put commodities at the top of the replicator screen right under borg remodulators, which should stay in the first spot.
After that, the inventory just for the various commodities that they automatically go into would be very helpful.
Every commodity should have a vendor someplace that is cheaper than anywhere else to allow for more of a merchant class mentality where Ferengi type characters travel the galaxy buying low and selling high so to speak. Right now ESD has cheap shield generators, Andoria has cheap provisions, Vulcan has cheap medical supplies, but nobody has cheap terraforming supplies.
KDF needs better ways to acquire commodities too.
Some UI team help would be necessary for some of this stuff, but the first idea of making it easier to replicate commodities without scrolling so much shouldn't be difficult.