Iron ore: Iron ore supply and demand are tightly balanced; focus on policies in the second half of the year.
1. In the first half of 2021, with the recovery of overseas economies, overseas total iron production has increased significantly, and demand is relatively strong. According to estimates by the Huatai Futures Research Institute, from January to May, overseas total iron output was 232 million tons, a cumulative year-on-year increase of 11.9%, driving an increase in iron ore consumption by nearly 40 million tons.
2. From the supply side, in the first half of 2021, the cumulative output of domestically produced mines was 112.92 million tons, a cumulative year-on-year increase of 7.2%; capacity utilization has reached a high level, and it is expected that the output in the second half of the year will hardly increase year-on-year. In terms of imports, domestic imports of iron ore have surged sharply. From January to May this year, overseas imports of iron ore increased by about 26.48 million tons compared with last year, a year-on-year increase of 5.9%. With the recovery of overseas total iron production, iron ore imports will weaken in the second half of the year.
3. In terms of inventory, the iron ore port inventory of 45 ports rose from 124 million tons at the beginning of the year to 133 million tons, and then dropped to 122 million tons again. On the whole, domestic iron ore supply and demand are strong in the first half of 2021, and the supply and demand are in a tight balance.
4. Looking forward to the second half of 2021, the increase in domestic iron ore supply is limited as a whole, and it is expected that the annual increase will be close to 10 million tons. The supply of the four major overseas mines has increased by 30+ million tons, and the increase in non-mainstream iron ores has become the main variable on the supply side. It is optimistic that it will increase by 50+ million tons.
5. The demand side increase in 2021 mainly comes from two parts: First, the resumption of work and production of overseas steel mills, which is the main source of increase in iron ore demand and will directly affect global iron ore demand. The second is that China's domestic economy continues to pick up, which has brought about high consumption at the finished product end, which has led to an increase in the output of the molten iron end.
6. From the perspective of iron elements, taking into account the annual increase in domestic steel scrap consumption and the reduction in steel and billet imports caused by the resumption of production in the foreign steel industry, our estimation method assumes that the policy end maintains the status quo, that is, Tangshan emission reduction measures and the national production restriction policy are not implemented. According to calculations by the Huatai Futures Research Institute, China's crude steel output is expected to increase by about 2.8%. Due to the large increase in scrap steel this year, it has basically covered the increase in crude steel production. In this way, the output of pig iron will increase by 0.4% year-on-year, and the consumption of ore will increase by 0.3% year-on-year. The increase is minimal. With the substantial recovery of overseas demand, the growth of overseas iron ore consumption will continue. At the same time, with the overall recovery of overseas production capacity falling short of consumption, domestic steel net exports will be significantly higher than last year. If deduced based on the previous May average, overseas iron ore consumption has increased by as much as 90+ million tons, then the overall supply and demand of iron ore will be in tight balance.
7. The supply and demand of iron ore in 2021 will be jointly determined by overseas consumption and domestic policy changes. At present, the recovery of overseas steel production is relatively strong, and domestic policy changes will be the main factor affecting the trend of iron ore in the later period. In the future, investors can pay attention to investment opportunities brought about by policy changes.
Strategy for 2021: Neutral, focusing on investment opportunities brought about by policy changes.
Risks and concerns:
1. Domestic steel consumption may fall short of market expectations
2. Overseas production and sales may decline significantly
3. Policy changes may occur.
Rubber: Loose supply and demand, pay attention to the turning point of inventory.
From the rubber planting area in the main producing countries in recent years, it can be intuitively seen that 2021 is still a year of large production capacity. Based on the newly increased planting area in the corresponding year, it is estimated that the theoretical output in 2021 will increase by about 4% from the previous year. In 2020, the theoretical output increased by about 3%, but due to abnormal weather and labor shortage, the actual output did not increase in 2020. Therefore, the actual production growth rate in 2021 may reach 7% year-on-year.
According to data from ANRPC, the cumulative output from January to May of 2021 increased by 3.8% year-on-year, which means that there will be an increase of nearly 4% in the second half of the year, and the output growth rate will be further improved compared with the first half of the year.
In terms of apparent consumption, basic domestic and overseas demand each account for half of the aggregate demand. In the second half of the year, due to the inflection point of the policy cycle of domestic heavy truck sales, demand will fall from the previous data. Thanks to the gradual stabilization of the epidemic and the increase in vaccination rates, recovery will become the main theme of overseas markets.
In the first half of the year, overseas countries were still deeply affected by multiple outbreaks of the epidemic, and demand recovery was slow. However, with the launch of vaccines and the implementation of multiple rounds of consumption stimulus policies in the United States, the travel rate in the United States has clearly picked up, which is reflected in the gradual recovery in US car sales data. From the perspective of more advanced indicators, especially South Korea's auto parts orders continue to improve. With the gradual stabilization of the epidemic situation in the second half of the year, it is expected that overseas demand will further recover, and the continuation of overseas loose policies will also stimulate consumption.
Due to the arrival of the peak season for rubber delivery at home and abroad, supply will further rise, and overseas demand will continue to rise due to increased vaccination. However, due to the large capacity on the supply side, demand growth is expected to be slower than that of supply. In the second half of the year, the supply and demand pattern may be further relaxed, and the domestic Qingdao port standard rubber inventory and the domestic futures exchange full latex inventory will usher in a turning point of re-increasing. In terms of rhythm, the contradiction between supply and demand in the third quarter may be more prominent, and investors can focus on downward pressure on prices.
Strategy: Neutral, focusing on periodic opportunities
1. Inventories may rebound sharply
2. Supply in production areas may increase sharply
3. Demand may continue to weaken.
Crude oil: demand recovery is accelerating, OPEC is still cautious in increasing production.
We maintain the bullish logic unchanged. There is still room for upside in oil prices, but if Brent oil rises to $80/barrel, there may be greater pressure. The reason why we believe that the current oil price still has room for upside is as follows:
1. OPEC's cautious production restriction policy will not exit quickly. OPEC will still artificially control production in order to achieve the goal of limited production and price protection, while destocking the excess inventory accumulated last year. We expect OPEC production to recover at most 29 million barrels per day in the second half of the year (even though there is still a gap between supply and demand).
2. Iranian oil cannot return to the market in the short term. Due to Iran’s election of a hardline leader, the market expects Iranian oil to return to the market as early as September or even later.
3. U.S. shale oil drilling and completion operations will resume slowly. As shale oil producers give priority to returning profits to shareholders as a return or repaying debts and are not eager to increase production, it is still difficult for U.S. upstream capital expenditures to increase significantly. Although rising oil prices will help shale oil resume production, it is still difficult to return to the level of 13 million barrels per day before the epidemic within the year, and the most optimistic expectation will be restored to 11-12 million barrels per day by the end of this year.
4. In the post-epidemic era, with the decline in the number of new infections in various countries and the acceleration of vaccination, demand is expected to recover steadily. At present, the market generally expects the demand to increase by 6 to 8 million barrels per day this year, and the total global demand is expected to return to 100 million barrels per day during the year. From the perspective of seasonal demand, after the refinery spring inspections from March to April, the refinery's crude oil processing volume will recover steadily in the second and third quarters, and peak during the peak summer travel season.
On the whole, the main contradiction behind the current increase in oil prices comes from the lack of elasticity of supply in the context of demand recovery, which leads to a mismatch of supply and demand, and the rapid destocking of global inventories. We believe this logic is expected to continue in the first half of this year, but oil prices may still have a large ceiling at the level of US$80/barrel. The main reasons are:
1. From a medium to long-term perspective, OPEC does not want oil prices to be too high, because this will bring a new round of shale oil expansion cycle from 2022 onwards, which will once again erode OPEC's market share. In addition, excessive oil prices will also accelerate the development of new energy sources, which is not conducive to OPEC's oil interests in the long run.
2. Saudi Arabia’s fiscal balance oil price in 2021 is expected to be US$75/barrel, and the marginal effect of oil prices exceeding US$75/barrel on Saudi Arabia’s domestic fiscal balance will be diminishing.
3. Global inflationary pressures have increased significantly, and major oil consuming and importing countries urge OPEC to increase production.
Overall, we believe that crude oil will continue to run strongly in the second half of the year, and the price center will move up further, but there may be a ceiling above it. Investors should focus on whether OPEC's production increase exceeds expectations and the time rhythm of Iranian oil's return to the market. In terms of strategy, we continue our previous recommendations, that is, recommend unilateral long positions in crude oil and Brent's intertemporal positive arbitrage. The potential risk lies in the rapid return of Iranian oil to the market and the emergence of a black swan in the epidemic, leading to a less than expected recovery in demand.
Strategy: neutrally, tend to be bullish in the short term; go long positions of crude oil or choose Brent's intertemporal positive arbitrage.
Risks: The Iranian nuclear agreement may be reached quickly or the emergence of a black swan in the epidemic may cause demand to recover less than expected.
Copper: a volatile market rather than a unilateral market.
Core point of view:
Description of each link of the industrial chain in the first half of 2021:
1. Raw material end: Imported copper ore TC bottomed out, newly added foreign production capacity was gradually released, and imports improved year-on-year. The National Reserve is expected to put in copper reserves of 120,000 tons during the year.
2. The smelting end: the output gradually increased, the break-even balance was restored, the willingness to start construction was strengthened, and imports increased year-on-year.
3. Consumer end: Affected by the base, the overall performance was slightly better than the same period last year.
4. Inventory: Domestic and foreign inventories have risen overall, but they are still at a historically low level.
Combining the above points, we find that in the first half of this year, especially in Q2, the impact of macro and fundamentals on copper pricing has begun to diverge. The inverse seasonal accumulation of Q2 and the sharp rise to a certain extent are more driven by macro funds. Therefore, the changes in market expectations after the Fed’s FOMC meeting have also made price return inevitable.
Market forecast for the second half of 2021:
The first thing to note is that in view of the overall rise in inflation, the long-term pull of new energy demand, and the continued low absolute volume of global inventories, we are still optimistic about the continuous rise of copper prices in the long-term. However, during the year, as a series of factors such as the implementation of the Fed’s Taper policy as expected and the coming of the Q3 consumption off-season are gradually taking effect, we still maintain our previous basic judgment that 70,000 to 80,000 is the high point of copper prices during the year. At the same time, benefiting from the fact that global inventories are still at historically low levels, overseas consumption may gradually recover. Domestic real estate infrastructure still plays a role in underpinning, and we are not very pessimistic about copper prices at present. Therefore, we continue to maintain the view that this year is a volatile market rather than a unilateral market.
2021 trading strategy recommendations:
Sell at high prices and buy at low prices in the range of 6-75,000;
Adopt Cash and Carry Arbitrage strategy in the domestic and foreign markets.
1. Federal Reserve Monetary Policy
2. Domestic Policy Risks
3. Overseas Epidemic Recovery Situation
PTA: Crude oil drives up the cost of PTA, and new production capacity is expected to reduce processing fees.
TA strategy recommendations: (1) Unilateral: cautiously bullish. (2) Intertemporal: Reverse Cash and Carry Arbitrage for 9-1 spread
1. PX is ushering in the production cycle: China's PX production pressure will gradually appear in the second half of the year, and Zhejiang Petrochemical expects to add 2.5 million tons of PX capacity in July. However, under the support of oil adjustment demand and the increase expectation of PTA's new production capacity, the PX processing fee is expected to be compressed. The accumulation rate of the Asian PX balance sheet is still controllable, and the downward pressure is expected to be limited. It is estimated that it will be around US$200/ton for a long time.
2. PTA contradictions: newly increased production capacity VS withdrawal of old equipment VS large factories cut production and stabilize prices
It is expected that the PTA balance sheet will usher in an inventory turning point in July, from de-stocking into a stock-accumulating cycle. However, it is estimated that this will have limited pressure on processing cost compression. In the second half of the year, the two sets of 3.3 million Yisheng New Materials are still under pressure to be put into production. 1# was put into production in July, and the PTA processing fee is expected to be under pressure. However, Yisheng and Hengli recently reduced the volume of their July contracts again, and it is estimated that they are still willing to reduce production and stabilize prices. At the same time, there will be 4.35 million tons of newly added capacity that may be suspended for a long time in 2021, and 6.48 million tons of old capacity that may be put into production before 2012 that may be suspended for a long time. Therefore, although the PTA processing fee is expected to be compressed, it should not be overly pessimistic. The estimated price is around 350 to 500 yuan/ton.
3. The space for subsequent inventory transfer of filament still needs to be observed: As terminal orders have not improved significantly beyond expectations, the pressure on filament inventory is at a high level year-on-year. With the compression of filament production profits, there may be limited room for further price reductions in the future. Pay attention to whether the subsequent filament load toughness can be maintained, and the improvement of subsequent orders.
4. Crude oil continues to push up the cost of PTA, and it is expected that the price of PTA will continue to increase in the cost-push form.
Risks: The implementation of the PTA plant maintenance plan, the strength of the negative feedback of the maintenance of polyester filament, and the sustainability of the improvement in the supply and demand of aromatics due to the gasoline premium. The time node when the new PTA and PX devices are activated.
1.美联储货币政策 2.国内政策风险 3.海外疫情恢复情况