Iron Ore: Trading sentiment weakened, and iron ore remained volatile.
Viewpoint and logic:
Yesterday, iron ore futures prices remained volatile. The iron ore 2205 contract closed at 650.5 yuan/ton, down 4 yuan/ton or 0.61% from the previous trading day. In terms of spot, the price of imported iron ore dropped slightly in the afternoon, falling 5-15 yuan/ton throughout the day. Qingdao Port PB fines was 715 yuan/ton, down 13 yuan/ton. Tianjin Port PB fines was 735-740 yuan/ton, basically the same as yesterday. On the 14th, a total of 1.005 million tons of iron ore in major ports nationwide were traded, down 24.2% from the previous month, and overall trading sentiment weakened.
The National Development and Reform Commission again proposed to ensure the supply of bulk commodity materials and stabilize prices, and proposed that it will vigorously increase the effective supply of bulk raw materials in the market and flexibly use national reserves to carry out market adjustments. At present, the supply side of iron ore is relatively loose, the delivery of iron ore is relatively stable, and the port inventory remains high. On the demand side, due to the recovery of real estate policies, consumption of building materials has also rebounded, but the overall strength is weak, and the off-season characteristics are difficult to change. However, with the completion of the crude steel reduction policy, there are signs of steel mills resuming production in many places. In addition, the current profitability of the steel mills is relatively good, and the market expects the steel mills to resume production. If steel mills can resume production smoothly, iron ore consumption is expected to pick up.
On the whole, the recent central bank's comprehensive reduction of RRR and "steady growth" and other multiple macroeconomic policies have boosted market confidence, and market optimism has revived. Coupled with the expected resumption of production by steel mills, iron ore prices have rebounded. However, considering that iron ore shipments are relatively stable at present, and downstream steel mills' production-restricted policies have affected the production capacity difficult to release, the iron ore inventory continues to accumulate. And the Winter Olympics is coming soon, and environmental protection production restrictions in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region are becoming stricter. The short-term iron ore is expected to maintain wide fluctuations.
Unilateral: fluctuate at high levels
Spot-Futures Arbitrage: None
Concerns and risks:
1. Real estate related policies
2. Overseas mining plan
3. Limited production of steel mills
Rubber: The decline in port inventory has expanded.
On December 14, the most-active RU contract closed at 14750 (-10) yuan/ton, the price of mixed rubber reported 13025 (0) yuan/ton, and the basis of most-active contract stood at -1150 yuan/ton (-40); the open interest of top 20 actively traded long positions was 96138 (+204) lots, the short position was 138422 () lots, and the net short position was 45123 (+2635) lots.
On December 14, the most-active NR contract closed at 11490 (+20) yuan/ton, the STR in Qingdao Free Trade Zone reported 1,772.5 (-2.5) US dollars/ton, the SMR stood at 1,765 (+5) US dollars/ton, and the SIR figure was 1,785 (0) US dollars/ton. The basis of most-active contract reported -251 (+13) yuan/ton.
As of December 10: the total inventory of domestic exchanges was 215,861 (+6578) tons, and the amount of warehouse receipts of exchanges was 175,510 (+20980) tons.
Raw materials: Sheet rubber 55.4 (+0.4), cup lump 47.90 (+0.15), latex 53 (+0.5), RSS3 59.07 (+0.71).
As of December 9, the operating rate of domestic all-steel tire factories was 64.26% (+1.28%), and the operating rate of semi-steel tire factories was 63.77% (+1.6%).
Opinion: As of last week, the domestic port inventory continued to decline, and the decline was significantly larger than the previous two weeks, mainly due to the increase in outbound, but due to the impact of shipping schedules, the inbound volume remained unchanged and did not increase. The continuous destocking of domestic port inventory has given support to the rubber price, which made the rubber price continue to fluctuate at high levels yesterday. This week, with the recovery of the domestic macro atmosphere and the lower support of domestic raw material prices, the price of rubber has stopped falling and rebounded. The price is expected to remain strong and volatile. However, due to the insipid demand performance and the accumulated pressure on the finished product inventory of tire factories, the upward driving force is insufficient, and long orders need to be held cautiously.
Strategy: Cautiously bullish
1. Epidemic recurring
2. The spread between futures and spot prices continues to widen
3. Weak demand
Crude oil: The United States will start the auction of strategic reserve oil this week.
The US Department of Energy announced that it will start the auction of strategic reserve oil this week, with a volume of 18 million barrels. This is consistent with the previously announced information that 18 million barrels of oil will be auctioned at the end of the year, and the remaining 32 million barrels of oil will be sold next year. However, this release of reserves belongs to inventory rotation rather than emergency release, which requires future repurchase. From the perspective of refiners, American refineries will try to reduce crude oil inventories at the end of the year due to accounting standards and avoidance of inventory taxes at the end of the year, especially in years when oil prices are rising. This release of reserves may involve non-US buyers. For US refineries, although the demand for crude oil purchases at the end of the year is low, if the reserve price is appropriate, it means that the refinery will reduce crude oil imports and switch to SPR crude oil. In the short term, SPR has a suppressive effect on the near-end inter-month spread of WTI crude oil and the WTI-Brent spread.
Risk: Geopolitical risk in the Middle East
Copper: The interest rate meeting is just around the corner, the US dollar is rising, and copper prices are under pressure.
On the macro front, in the early hours of Wednesday morning Beijing time, the U.S. Senate passed a bill to raise the debt ceiling with 50 votes in favor and 49 votes against it. The U.S. debt ceiling bill will be sent to the House of Representatives for a vote. If passed by the House of Representatives again, the US federal debt ceiling will be raised from the current US$28.9 trillion to US$31.4 trillion. In terms of monetary policy, Fed Chairman Powell has previously stated that he may announce the acceleration of the termination of the bond purchase plan at the policy meeting this week, ending in March instead of the original June, paving the way for interest rates to rise from near zero. This also made the US dollar higher yesterday, and non-ferrous metals and even precious metals were relatively under pressure.
From a fundamental point of view, the current premiums and discounts continue to show a downward trend, showing the weakness of the consumer side and the loosening of supply. Previously, according to SMM, the operating rate of refined copper rod enterprises was 69.24%, a decrease of 2.15% from last week. It can be seen that downstream demand has weakened at the end of the year. On the one hand, near the end of the year, both downstream cable factories and copper rod companies will choose to control capital risks and appropriately reduce the number of orders. Therefore, the willingness to purchase before New Year's Day will be suppressed to a certain extent. On the other hand, downstream consumption does show signs of weakening. As the north turns cold, orders from engineering and real estate terminals continue to decline, and demand enters the seasonal off-season around the Spring Festival. In addition, due to environmental protection issues during the Winter Olympics in Ningjin, some small wire and cable factories have restricted production or stopped production recently. In terms of copper scrap, the spread between refined copper and copper scrap remained below a reasonable range this week, supporting refined copper consumption. In terms of inventory, LME has accumulated 3,425 tons to 81,775 tons on a weekly basis, and SHFE has destocked 1,058 tons to 6,331 tons on a weekly basis. The social warehouses have accumulated stocks of 7,400 to 90,100 tons on a weekly basis, and the bonded areas have destocked from 8,300 to 175,200 tons on a weekly basis. In terms of imports, this week's import loss on the 01 contract remained at around 300 yuan/ton, while the spot import profit window was open. However, near the end of the year, many traders said that the annual trade targets have been reached. As they are busy with year-end liquidation recently, their willingness to participate in spot trade has significantly weakened. In addition, the issue of delayed shipping schedules has continued to appear recently, which has also inhibited the enthusiasm of spot trading.
On the whole, overseas macro uncertainties have increased. Fundamentally, the disturbance at the mine end has increased. Major ports in northern China were still affected to varying degrees under the interference of the epidemic, and the TC index declined significantly in November. At the smelting end, the national power curtailment has basically ended. However, due to the interference from the mine and the decline in the price of sulfuric acid, the production enthusiasm of the smelter is inhibited, and the output of electrolytic copper in November is difficult to return to the high level of the second quarter. With regard to scrap copper, the decline in copper prices has driven the spread between refined copper and scrap to fall below a reasonable range, and the consumption support of scrap copper for refined copper has once again appeared. The consumer side showed better performance in the off-season. The end of power rationing and the marginal improvement in real estate led to an increase in the PMI of the copper industry in November. As a result of multiple factors, copper prices remain volatile for the time being.
1. Unilateral: Neutral
2. Inter-market: postpone
3. Inter-period: postpone
4. Options: postpone
1. The Fed's monetary policy orientation
2. The trend of the US dollar index
3. The risk of the epidemic may increase.
PTA: The epidemic further affected the start of downstream operations.
1. After Zhejiang Petrochemical's new plant was put into production, the total load increase was still slow.
(1) The PX 9 million tons production line of Zhejiang Petrochemical Company increased the load to 65% to 70%, and the rate was still slow. Zhenhai Petrochemical is currently operating normally, and attention needs to be paid to potential future impacts. Under the background that Zhejiang Petrochemical is under full load, the accumulation rate of Asian PX inventory in December-January is still slow, and PX processing fees are expected to be compressed.
2. PTA operating rate is expected to increase.
(1) The previous epidemic caused the 3.6 million tons of Yisheng New Materials plant to reduce the production load to 50%. Later, it was heard that the issue of the pass was gradually resolved, and there is an expectation of increasing the load.
3. The impact of the East China epidemic has led to expectations of reducing the load on polyester.
(1) Under the influence of the epidemic, there are plans to reduce production of polyester plants in Ningbo.
(2) The Shaoxing epidemic still exists, and the terminal printing and dyeing load is affected.
Balance sheet outlook: terminal load reduction leads to polyester reduction in load expectations. In the context of the full implementation of the PTA factory overhaul, it is expected that the inventory will be slightly destocked or flattened in December.
(1) Unilateral: take a wait-and-see attitude; At present, PTA processing fees have rebounded to a short-term high, with limited space below. PX Zhejiang Petrochemical's new production capacity has also suppressed processing fees to a low level.
(2) Intertemporal: take a wait-and-see attitude.
Risks: The price of crude oil fluctuates sharply; PTA plant maintenance progress; Zhejiang Petrochemical PX new plant production load increase progress; polyester plant joint production reduction progress.
1. 单边：中性 2. 跨市：内外反套 3. 跨期：暂缓；4. 期权：暂缓
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