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中国经济

Nickel hits one-year high on strong China demand and EV hopes
中国需求推升镍价至一年高位

这种用于生产不锈钢和电动汽车电池组的金属价格从月初开始上涨,迄今涨幅已超过五分之一,跑赢其他工业金属。

Nickel continued its march higher on Thursday, hitting a one-year high above $1,500 a tonne.

镍价周四继续走高,触及每吨15000美元上方的一年高位。

The metal, which is used to make stainless steel, has been on a tear since the start of the month, rising by more than a fifth and outpacing other industrial metals, which are still weighed down by trade war fears.

这种用于生产不锈钢的金属的价格从本月初开始猛涨,迄今涨幅已超过五分之一,跑赢仍然受到贸易战担忧拖累的其他工业金属。

Nickel for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange rose as much as 5 per cent, to $15,115 before falling bac to $14,895.

伦敦金属交易所(LME)三个月交割的期镍一度上涨5%,至15115美元,稍后回落至14895美元。

Meanwhile, open interest in nickel futures on the Shanghai Futures Exchange has jumped more than 50 per cent in the past couple of weeks to more than 600,000 lots. Glencore, Vale and Norilsk Nickel are among the world’s biggest producers of the metal, which has a reputation for being volatile.

同时,上海期货交易所(Shanghai Futures Exchange)的镍期货持仓量在过去两周飙升逾50%,至超过60万手。嘉能可(Glencore)、淡水河谷(Vale)和诺里尔斯克镍业(Norilsk Nickel)跻身这种金属的世界最大生产商之列。镍价以波动性较大闻名。

A number of factors have helped push up the price, including strong demand in China where production of “300 series” stainless steel — which has a high nickel content — has surged 13 per cent year-on-year in June.

许多因素帮助推高了镍价,包括中国需求强劲。6月,中国的300系列不锈钢(具有较高镍含量)产量同比跃升13%。

“This rally started in Shanghai with better than expected stainless production in China leading to heavy buying [on the Shanghai Future Exchange] by one large consumer,” said analysts at Macquarie. “Combined with reported heavy forward buying by European auto producers on the 2023 contract (for future electric vehicle demand), drove prices though key levels causing major short covering of speculative positions and, more recently . . . chart-based buying.”

“此轮涨势始于上海,好于预期的中国不锈钢产量促使一家大型消费者(在上海期货交易所)大举买入,”麦格理(Macquarie)的分析师们表示。“加上有报道称,欧洲汽车制造商大举买入2023年合约(针对未来电动汽车需求),推动价格突破关键水平,引发对投机头寸的大量空头回补,最近几天还有……基于图表的购买行为。”

Nickel is tipped to be one of the metals that benefits from the shift to cleaner forms of energy. It is a key component in the battery packs that will power electric vehicles — and one that is forecast to become more important as carmakers switch to technologies that use more of the metal.

镍被视为将是受益于转向更清洁能源举措的金属之一。它是驱动电动汽车的电池组的关键原料,随着汽车制造商转向更多地采用镍的技术,各方预测镍将变得更加重要。

But with sulphide nickel ore sources — the mainstay of the industry and the material best suited to making battery-grade nickel — in short supply, there has been much excitement among analysts and investors about a potential supply crunch and ultimately higher prices. For the moment EV’s account for just 4 per cent of nickel demand.

但是,鉴于硫化镍矿石——主要的工业用镍,最适合用来生产电池级镍——供不应求,分析师和投资者近来对潜在的供应紧张、最终导致更高价格感到兴奋。就目前而言,电动汽车仅占镍需求的4%。

However, not everyone is convinced the current rally is sustainable, pointing to rising stainless steel inventories in China, raising questions about the strength of underlying demand.

然而,并非所有人都确信此轮涨势可持续,一个理由是中国的不锈钢库存增加,这引发了对基本面需求强劲程度的质疑。

“We are of the view that the quick rebound is not justified as underlying stainless steel demand in China remains uncertain and supply risks in Indonesia and the Philippines should remain remote through 2019,” said Helen Lau, an analyst at Argonaut, a brokerage.

“我们认为,此轮快速反弹并不合理,因为中国的根本层面的不锈钢需求仍然不确定,同时印尼和菲律宾的供应风险在2019年应该会保持在较低水平,”券商Argonaut的分析师Helen Lau表示。

On Thursday, a senior Indonesian mining ministry official said the country would enforce a ban on the export of unprocessed minerals by 2022. Indonesia is a major producer of nickel ore alongside the Philippines, where another round of mine audits has just started. However, a large scale production halts in the country are seen as unlikely by analyst.

周四,印尼矿业部一位高官表示,该国将会落实有关到2022年将不再出口未加工矿石的禁令。印尼是主要的镍矿石生产国。菲律宾也是,该国刚启动新一轮矿场审计。然而,分析师认为该国不太可能出现大规模停产整顿。

“Our read of the actual fundamentals is for a more-balanced market in the second half of 2019 compared with large deficits up until midyear since end-2015,” said Macquarie. “We also believe prices have overshot levels that can be justified by fundamentals, and so will correct at some stage, probably once the commodity trading advisers decide to take profits.”

“我们对实际基本面因素的解读是,相比从2015年底到今年年中的巨大缺口,2019年下半年将出现一个更为平衡的市场,”麦格理表示。“我们还相信,价格已经超过基本面因素可以证明合理的水平,因此将会在某个阶段回调,很可能是在大宗商品交易顾问决定斩获利润的时候。”

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