低油价对采矿业构成挑战

中国石化新闻网 2020-04-03

中国石化新闻网讯 据4月1日ABN AMRO 报道,油价大幅下跌意味着,矿业公司的能源成本正在下降。在正常情况下,矿业部门不会抱怨较低的柴油价格和较低的能源成本。但目前的情况并不正常。毕竟,超额的供应过剩将对该行业造成沉重打击。此外,由于需求减弱,该行业面临的挑战只会只会变得更加严峻。

通常情况下,能源成本约占采矿总成本的15%。对于某些特定金属矿石的开采来说,这一比例可能高达40%。矿业公司主要通过石油、煤炭和天然气等化石燃料来满足能源需求。这意味着,这些燃料价格的高度波动将导致成本的高度不可预测。

摩根士丹利大宗商品分析师计算出了这些成本在每种非贵金属中的分布情况:“便宜的石油对矿商来说是福也是祸。例如,开采铜、镍和锌等金属矿石的总成本中,柴油占了5%到10%。金属冶炼的总能源成本对铝和镍来说尤其高。在这些金属的精炼过程中,能源可以占到生产成本的30%到50%。”

更低的油价,意味着更低的能源成本。因此,油价大幅下跌导致运营成本大幅下降。由于金属价格大幅下跌,这大大减轻了许多矿业公司的财务压力。但这也有不利的一面。

降低运营成本往往是许多矿业公司维持甚至扩大生产的动力。这种继续生产的动机最终将导致许多金属市场出现供过于求的情况,尤其是在金属需求正在减弱的情况下。长期而言,这可能导致金属价格相对较低。

油价复苏不会一帆风顺,因为需求减弱、库存增加和供过于求将严重限制未来一段时期的价格上涨潜力。荷兰银行(ABN AMRO)预计,到2021年底,油价将达到50美元/桶。这意味着,相对较低的油价将继续对采矿业构成挑战。

洪伟立 摘译自 ABN AMRO

原文如下:

Low oil price challenges mining sector

The sharply lower oil price means that energy costs for mining companies are falling. Under normal circumstances, the mining sector wouldn’t complain about a lower diesel price and lower energy costs. But current circumstances are far from normal. After all, oversupply is looming and that will hit the sector hard. And with weaker demand for metals due to the coronavirus crisis, the sector’s problems will only increase.

On average, energy costs make up about 15% of total mining costs. This can rise to as much as 40% for the mining of some specific metal ores. Mining companies meet their energy needs largely from fossil fuels, such as oil, coal and gas. This means that highly volatile prices for these fuels lead to highly unpredictable costs.

The commodity analysts at Morgan Stanley have calculated how these costs are distributed per base metal (see: Mining Journal: ‘Cheap oil is a blessing and a curse for miners’, 18 March 2020). Diesel, for example, accounts for 5% to 10% of the total costs of mining metal ores such as copper, nickel and zinc. Total energy costs for the refining of metals are especially high for aluminium and nickel. In the refining of these metals, energy can account for 30% to 50% of production costs.

Lower oil price, lower energy costs

The sharply lower oil price has therefore led to a significant reduction in operating costs. This greatly reduces the financial stress for many mining companies, now that metal prices have fallen sharply. But there is a downside to this.

Lower operating costs are often an incentive for many mining companies to maintain or even expand production. This incentive to continue producing will eventually lead to oversupply in many metal markets, especially now that the demand for metals is weakening. And this could translate into relatively low metal prices in the longer term.

An oil price recovery will not go smoothly because weaker demand, larger stocks and oversupply will severely limit the upward price potential in the coming period. ABN AMRO expects the oil price to reach USD 50 per barrel at the end of 2021. This means that a relatively low oil price will continue to challenge the mining sector.

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