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经济学人:铜 破碎的联系

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Finance and economics

财经商业
Copper
Broken contacts
破碎的联系
Finance, not economics, may explain copper's recent plunge
金融市场而非经济状况造成了近期的铜价下滑
THE copper price has long been held to signal the state of the global economy as reliably as the metal conducts electrons.
铜价一直以来都是全球经济形势的信号,它的这个作用正如导电性能一样可靠。
But that reputation—never fully deserved—is now in tatters. Copper's plunging price says a lot about China, but little about the rest of the world.
如今这个本就不甚牢固的地位已经岌岌可危。一路下滑的铜价折射出中国的许多问题,不过与世界形势则关系不大。
China consumes about 40% of global copper production.
中国消耗着全球40%的成品铜。

But not all of that goes straight into manufacturing or construction.

但并非所有的铜都被立即用于制造业以及建筑业。
Chinese companies have also been using copper as collateral for their hard-currency loans: “buy, store, hedge and pledge” in the words of one trader.
中国的公司还将铜作为硬通货贷款的抵押品。用一位从业者的话说,就是“购买,储存,用来对冲和抵押”。
That has led to an overhang, with far more of the metal stockpiled than users need.
铜的库存量已经远远超过使用需求,已经造成了过量储存。
Any change in the conditions that created this stockpile can have a big effect on the price.
造成这种储存的各种因素稍有变化就会对铜价造成重大影响。
A sign of this is that when the Chinese economy slows, as seems to be happening now, with manufacturing activity weakening for a fifth consecutive month, those stockpiles rise.
其中一个例子就是当中国经济增速放缓时,库存就会增加。
CRU, a metals researcher, now says the copper-market surplus this year will be four times bigger than it previously estimated, with forecast production outpacing demand by 140,000 tonnes.
金属研究机构CRU最近表示今年的铜剩余量将是其之前预计的4倍,预计产量将超过需求量140,000吨,。
Chinese data are notoriously opaque, so judging the real health of the country's copper-consuming industries is hard.
鉴于中方的数据是出了名的不透明,所以很难判断该国铜消耗产业的真实规模。
A rebound in growth later this year could revive demand for the metal.
今年随后的经济增长反弹或许能重新刺激铜材的需求。
But other factors are piling pressure on to the copper price.
但其他因素也在给铜价施压。
One is a growing wariness among creditors, following a corporate-bond failure this month.
其中之一就是于本月发生了中国国内20世纪90年代以来首次的企业债券违约,这使借债机构变得愈发谨慎了。
As banks worry about their customers' abilities to service debts, Chinese firms are finding it harder to get loans.
由于银行担心客户的偿还能力,中国公司发现贷款更难了。
This is making some sell their copper to raise cash.
这使不少公司抛售储存的铜来套现。
Another factor is that Chinese regulators are cracking down on companies using copper stockpiles for speculation.
还有一个因素是中方的监管机构正在打击公司们利用铜存储进行投机活动的行为。
Joel Crane of Morgan Stanley, an investment bank, argues that the authorities are targeting the “shadow-banking network” used by companies to evade controls on hard-currency lending.
投行摩根斯坦利的Joel Crane评论说,政府已经盯上了公司们用来逃避硬通货借贷管制的“影子银行网络”。
Chinese importers have long used letters of credit issued by banks for raw-material imports as a way of raising funds which they then use for other purposes.
中国的银行会发行原材料出口的信用证来募集资金,而进口商们却长期把这些信用证用于其它目的。
Such shadow banking created lucrative arbitrage possibilities for those able to take advantage of the difference between local and international interest rates.
这样的影子银行系统为那些能利用国内外利率差的人提供了通过套利牟取暴利的机会。
This is a useful dodge when times are good, not so when scrutiny increases.
当时机合适时,这是很有用的逃避方式,可监管严格时就不是了。
A reform in mid-2013 made companies holding copper for collateral keep it onshore, rather than in bonded warehouses, raising the cost of storage.
2013年中的一次改革要求持有铜作为抵押品的公司将铜保存在大陆地区,而非保税仓库,这也增加了储存的成本。
A similar story seems to be unfolding with iron ore.
铁矿石也在发生类似情况。
China accounts for half of world steel production, so the iron-ore price is hypersensitive to any downward flicker in demand.
中国占到了世界钢材产量的一半,所以铁矿石价格对于一丝一毫的需求减少的苗头都极度敏感。
Iron-ore stocks at Chinese ports are at record highs.
中国码头上的铁矿石储存量达到了创纪录的数值。
China is also trying to substitute its own, lower-quality ore for the higher-grade imported stuff.
中国正在试图用进口的高纯度矿石替代低质量的本国矿石。
It wants to cut overcapacity and pollution, including using the financial markets to put pressure on the steel industry through higher interest rates and tighter credit.
政府想要采取措施对付产能过剩和环境污染问题,包括在金融市场利用高利率和信贷紧缩来给钢铁行业施压。
Companies who used iron ore as collateral for their borrowing may now have to use it for debt repayments instead.
将铁矿石用作贷款抵押品的公司如今或许要将其转用作贷款偿还了。
Copper bears fear that this could easily get out of hand.
铜金属持有者担心这会造成情况失控。
But the likelihood is more a slow unwinding of positions than a crash.
但哪怕要失控,也将是一个缓慢的头寸解除过程而不会突然全部抛售。
Goldman Sachs, another bank, notes that it is not in the Chinese authorities' interest to shut down commodity-financing deals altogether.
另一家银行高盛集团表示中国政府并不打算完全废除商品金融。
It makes more sense just to increase the hedging and storage costs of those firms using commodities to speculate.
更像是只让使用商品进行投机的公司对冲和储存的成本上升。
Stephen Briggs of BNP Paribas, also a bank, notes that the “few hundred thousand tonnes” involved in these deals is only a small part of a 20m tonne market.
法国巴黎银行的Stephen Briggs则认为这些交易涉及的“几十万吨”不过是铜材市场两千万总数的极小部分。
The truth may be that jitters in China have just accelerated a change in perceptions about copper: from chronic deficit to surplus.
现实或许是,中国国内的神经敏感只是加速了对于铜的观念的改变:从长期供应不足到存储过多。
This stems from the impending extra metal coming this year and next from new mines in places such as Mongolia, Peru and Mexico.
原因在于今年和明年将从蒙古、秘鲁、墨西哥的新建矿场中增加进口许多矿石。
Speculators may come and go, but at least copper, unlike gold, has a comfortably wide range of uses.
或许铜的投机生意难以预料,但和金子不同的是,铜至少有着大量的用途。
重点单词   查看全部解释    
likelihood ['laiklihud]

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n. 可能性

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global ['gləubəl]

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adj. 全球性的,全世界的,球状的,全局的

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previously ['pri:vju:sli]

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adv. 先前,在此之前

 
dodge [dɔdʒ]

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v. 避开,躲避 n. 躲避

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chronic ['krɔnik]

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adj. 长期的,慢性的,惯常的

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resentment [ri'zentmənt]

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n. 怨恨,愤恨

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pressure ['preʃə]

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n. 压力,压强,压迫
v. 施压

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forecast ['fɔ:kɑ:st]

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n. 预测,预报
v. 预测

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shadow ['ʃædəu]

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n. 阴影,影子,荫,阴暗,暗处
vt. 投阴

 
pledge [pledʒ]

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n. 保证,誓言,抵押,抵押品
vt. 保证,

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