Iron Ore: Steel production continued to recover, with iron ore futures back at 700.
The main logic of market trading last week was the resumption of production at steel mills. According to the steel production and sales data released by the Steel Valley Network and the Iron and Steel Association, the output has increased. At the same time, the average daily hot metal production of 247 steel mills was 2.085 million tons, a weekly increase of 55,000 tons. While trading resumes, another important factor is that the Spring Festival is approaching. Driven by high profits, steel mills have a strong demand for restocking of raw materials. As a result, iron ore futures remained strong last week, rising above 700 points again. As of the close, the main iron ore 2205 contract closed at 719 points, up 39 points from the previous week.
In terms of supply, Mysteel surveyed that from December 27th to January 2nd, the total iron ore shipments from 19 ports in Australia and Brazil were 27.959 million tons, an increase of 415,000 tons from the previous week. Australia shipped 21.217 million tons, an increase of 1.656 million tons from the previous week. Among them, Australia sent 17.652 million tons to China, an increase of 2.275 million tons from the previous month. Brazil shipped 6.742 million tons, down 1.241 million tons from the previous week.
In terms of demand, Mysteel surveyed 247 steel mills with a blast furnace operating rate of 74.20%, an increase of 3.19% from last week and a decrease of 16.01% from last year. The utilization rate of blast furnace ironmaking capacity was 77.89%, an increase of 2.10% month-on-month and a year-on-year decrease of 14.26%. The profit rate of steel mills was 83.12%, down 3.03% month-on-month and 6.49% year-on-year. The average daily production of molten iron was 2.0852 million tons, an increase of 55,100 tons from the previous month and a decrease of 367,600 tons from the same period last year. Last week, Msteel conducted a survey on the resumption of production of 126 blast furnaces in 25 steel mills in Tangshan. Since January, a total of 13 blast furnaces have resumed production, with a production volume of 17,172 m³, releasing an average daily hot metal production capacity of about 44,100 tons. The blast furnace capacity utilization rate on that day was about 66%, an increase of 11.06% from the previous week's survey and a decrease of 14.56% from the same period last year. With the completion of the crude steel production limit task for the whole year of 2021, since the end of December, the production resumption of steel plants in various regions has become more obvious, and it is expected to be further expanded in the later period. In addition, the Spring Festival is approaching, driven by high profits, steel mills have a relatively strong demand for iron ore restocking.
In terms of inventory, according to Mysteel statistics, the inventory of imported iron ore in 45 ports across the country was 15,605.10, down 20.55 from the previous month. Among them, Australian ore 7227.58 increased by 57.71, Brazilian ore 5544.52 decreased 44.66, trade ore 9185.80 decreased 57.5, pellet 419.14 increased 6.86, concentrate 1087.40 decreased 64.02, lump ore 2244.02 decreased 35.28, coarse powder 11854.54 increased 71.89; The number of ships in port increased by 2 to 161. (Unit: 10,000 tons)
On the whole, the Central Economic Work Conference requires all regions and departments to take the responsibility of stabilizing the macro economy and actively introduce policies conducive to economic stability. The crude steel production restriction task has been completed ahead of schedule, and it is expected that the future production restriction will become more moderate. Although iron ore is still in a state of high inventory, if the consumption of thread and hot-rolled coil continues to improve, it is expected to be quickly transmitted to the mine end (destocking) after the release of output control. Long-flow steel mills’ immediate profits are still high, coupled with the steel mill’s expected resumption of production and restocking before the Spring Festival, it is still expected to boost ore prices.
Unilateral: fluctuate at high levels
Spot-Futures Arbitrage: None
Concerns and risks: The implementation strength and extent of the crude steel production restriction policy, the risk of rising ocean freight, etc.
Rubber: Domestic demand is expected to improve.
Last week, the price of rubber continued to fluctuate, and the volatility increased. In the RU market, the competition between long and short positions is more intense. The short logic is mainly based on weak demand, while the long is based on low domestic inventories and limited supply increase. Changes in fundamentals last week mainly came from the demand side. With the advent of the off-season, the operating rate of domestic tire factories began to decline.
The total inventory of domestic exchanges as of January 7 was 234,800 tons (+3945), and the amount of futures warehouse receipts was 215,510 tons (+7100). The premium of futures market prices has brought about a continuous increase in warehouse receipts and inventories on exchanges. However, the main production areas in China have completely stopped delivery, and the increase in warehouse receipts has begun to slow down. As of January 3, the inventory in Qingdao Free Trade Zone continued to decline, but the decline slowed down, mainly due to the reduction in downstream purchasing demand. Due to the issue of shipping schedule, the arrival volume has not changed much, and the market expects that the accumulated inventory at the port will be after the Spring Festival holiday.
In terms of the operating rate of downstream tires, as of January 6, the operating rate of all-steel tire enterprises was 52.03% (-9.69%), and the operating rate of semi-steel tire enterprises was 60.05% (-3.65%). The reduction in tire production load last week was mainly due to the temporary shutdown of some manufacturers during the New Year's Day holiday. As the domestic off-season and the Spring Festival holiday approach, the operating rate of tire factories may gradually decline in the later period.
Viewpoint: Rubber is currently entering a weak pattern of supply and demand. Based on domestic easing expectations, domestic demand will improve after the Spring Festival holiday. The supply mainly depends on the impact of domestic port arrivals. If not significantly improved, supply and demand are expected to improve. In the current state, we see that the price of overseas raw materials can still maintain a high position, which may indicate that the supply pressure is not great. This may be because overseas demand can better absorb the volume that cannot be imported into China. Therefore, as long as overseas demand does not drop significantly, it may be difficult for supply pressure to appear. Contradictions on the supply side may need to wait until the new season delivery begins to come to a conclusion. Therefore, we believe that under the improvement of supply and demand expectations in the later period, it is recommended that investors treat with a long thinking.
Strategy: Cautiously bullish
1. Significant increase in domestic supply
2. The impact of the epidemic and other influences makes demand continue to show weakness
3. Money is tight.
Crude oil: Oil prices are on the strong side, but they may be running out of steam.
Oil prices were strong last week, with Brent oil breaking through US$80 per barrel, basically recovering the decline after Omicron appeared. The main drivers of this round of oil price rebound come from: 1. Demand has not been significantly affected by Omicron, and high-frequency demand indicators are still strong. 2. Negotiations with Iran are still deadlocked, and the return of Iranian oil to the market is far from expected. 3. The current oil inventory is still at a low level, and the destocking continues, and the inflection point of the inventory has not yet been seen. 4. Supply disruptions in Libya and Kazakhstan have triggered geopolitical premiums.
However, we believe that although oil prices are strong in the short term, there is no strong momentum in the medium term. The main logic is: 1. $80-85 per barrel is already the upper limit of inflation tolerance in the United States. The return of oil prices to this level does not rule out the use of policy tools by the United States to suppress oil prices again, such as increasing the number of reserves released or accelerating the pace of release. 2. According to the 2022 balance sheet forecast, crude oil will turn into oversupply in the first half of next year and enter the inflection point of accumulating inventories. 3. Sustainability of supply interruption is doubtful, and OPEC still has a large spare capacity, which can fill the current supply gap. 4. The market has Price in Iran oil temporarily unable to return to the market. But once the negotiation turns around, it will bring a staged bearishness to oil prices. Therefore, in general, although the recent demand is more than expected and the supply disturbance supports the oil price, we are still cautious. In the medium term, oil prices have reached the upper edge of the range, and the space above is expected to be relatively limited.
Strategy: tend to be neutrally bullish in the short term; Oil prices are currently at the upper edge of the range, investors can go short positions in the medium term
Risk: Geopolitical risk in the Middle East
Copper: The premium and discount quotations continued to rise, and copper prices may remain relatively strong.
According to SMM News, the average price of SMM 1# Copper Cathode in the week of January 7 ran from 69,940 yuan / ton to 70,480 yuan / ton, showing a volatile weekly trend. The average premium and discount quotations of Standard-Grade Copper ran from a premium of 155 to a premium of 395 yuan / ton, showing a continuous upward trend in the middle of the week. Copper prices first fell and then rose last week. The Shanghai Copper 2202 contract ran from a minimum of 69,000 yuan to a maximum of 70,770 yuan / ton, and closed at 69,850 yuan / ton on Friday night.
Copper prices rose first and then fell last week. On the one hand, amid the European energy crisis, there are concerns about the reduction of production by aluminum plants, and the continuous rise in spot electricity prices in most parts of Europe has driven the overall rise in the non-ferrous sector. On the other hand, the minutes of the Fed's December meeting suggested earlier and faster rate hikes. At the same time, some policymakers began to shrink the balance sheet shortly after the rate hike was supported. After the U.S. non-farm payrolls data was released last Friday, federal funds futures showed a 90% chance of the Federal Reserve raising interest rates at its March meeting, putting some pressure on copper prices. Fundamentally, the TC index rose slightly, Las Bambas transportation resumed, and a large amount of copper concentrate will flow out. Protests broke out in many places in Kazakhstan, but according to the survey, the shipment and transportation of copper concentrate have not been affected so far. As of November 2021, my country imported a total of 760,000 tons of copper concentrate from Kazakhstan, accounting for 3.6% of the total imports. In terms of imports, the LME0-3Back structure continued during the week, and the import window continued to close. In terms of electrolytic copper, according to SMM, the planned output of smelters in January remained at a high level as a whole, driven by the effect of rushing production at the end of the year. At the same time, the ratio of Shanghai copper to London copper gives export opportunities, and the Winter Olympics will have limited impact on northern smelters. In terms of scrap copper, with the rebound of copper prices, the price difference between refined copper and scrap copper continued to rise, and it is currently above a reasonable range, showing the advantages of scrap copper substitution. In terms of consumption, the weekly operating rate of copper rods was 62.2%, down 4.38%, which has been falling for four consecutive weeks, mainly due to the shutdown and maintenance during the New Year's Day. As the Spring Festival is approaching, some downstream enterprises are expected to stop production after the middle of this month. In terms of inventories, global inventories remained low. Among them, LME and SHFE are all destocked, and the social library is destocked. Inventories accumulated in the bonded area last week as the import window closed. On the whole, the macro aspect is intertwined with long and short positions. Near the end of the year, demand is gradually weakening, but the low inventory level will give copper prices some support, and copper prices may continue to fluctuate.
On the whole, European energy problems have pushed up the overall price of non-ferrous metals. Near the end of the year, both supply and demand are weak, and before the inflection point of inventory appears, copper prices may continue to fluctuate on the strong side.
1. Unilateral: Cautiously bullish
2. Inter-market: postpone
3. Inter-period: postpone
4. Options: postpone
1. Inflection point of inventory
2. The trend of the US dollar index
3. The risk of the epidemic may increase.
PTA: PX and PTA processing fees continued to firm.
Changes from last Friday compared to this Friday, TA2205 closed at 5314 yuan / ton, +296 yuan / ton from the previous week. In terms of spot, PTA is 5269 yuan/ton, which is +306 yuan/ton compared with last week. TA spot -05 basis -45 yuan / ton, +10 yuan / ton from last week. PTA spot processing fee is 732 yuan/ton, which is +87 yuan/ton compared with last week. PX943 US dollars / ton, compared with last week +45 US dollars / ton. PX processing fee is 200 US dollars / ton, +50 US dollars / ton from last week.
(1) Under the background of low processing costs in the early stage, most of the Korean installations have reduced the production load to around 70% - 80%. India's OMPL restart is postponed. Hengli's 4.75 million tons of PX production capacity has been reduced by 15-20% on December 23, and the recovery time is yet to be determined. Zhejiang Petrochemical's PX 9 million tons production load is still 65% to 70%, and the speed of increasing the production load is still slow. Under the background of Zhejiang Petrochemical's under-full load, Asia's PX will slightly destock from January to February, and PX processing fees rebounded strongly.
In terms of PX supply, CCF's PX China operating rate this week was 65.2% (+0.2%), and PX Asia's operating rate was 68.9% (-0.7%).
(1) In terms of PTA supply, CCF's PTA operating rate this week was 79.2% (-1.4%). Shenghong 2# 2.5 million tons, Yadong 700,000 tons, and Zhuhai BP 1.1 million tons recovered in early January. On January 3, the 4.5 million tons of Fuhua Chemical and Trade was overhauled for 20 days. The operating rate is still high in stages. However, the processing fee of PTA is still high this week and Hengli’s progress in signing the long-term contract next year is still slow. If the signing is still not successful in January, the circulation of subsequent traders may be tightened, and the PTA processing fee will be supported. Circulating inventory will be transferred from downstream to upstream, and the change in pricing power will support PTA processing fees, but we are also concerned about whether major manufacturers will make concessions in the future.
Overall, PX processing fees and PTA processing fees continued to be strong due to the increase in the upstream voice. Against the backdrop of rising crude oil benchmarks, PTA continued to be strong.
Balance sheet outlook: It is expected that it will enter the seasonal accumulation phase in January, but the accumulation rate of inventory is controllable.
(1) Unilateral: Cautiously bullish. PTA processing fees are still strong in the short term, and PX processing fees continue to rebound.
(2) Intertemporal: take a wait-and-see attitude.
Risks: The price of crude oil fluctuates sharply; PTA factory long-term contract signing progress; Zhejiang Petrochemical PX new plant production load increase progress; polyester plant joint production reduction progress.
1. 单边：谨慎偏多 2. 跨市：内外反套 3. 跨期：暂缓；4. 期权：暂缓
1. 累库拐点 货币政策导向 能源危机风险