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China Is About to Shake Up the Oil Futures Market

美国雅虎:中国即将动摇原油期货市场



It’s taken a quarter of a century, but China’s finally getting its own oil futures.

尽管用了25年,但中国最终还是拥有了自己的石油期货。

注释:1992年,中国首次推出石油期货,并成为亚洲最早推出原油期货的国家。

At 9 a.m. local time on Monday, crude contracts will begin trading on the Shanghai International Energy Exchange . The world’s biggest oil buyer is offering yuan-denominated futures that foreigners can buy and sell -- a first in Chinese commodities. Among the most intriguing questions is whether the traditional benchmarks of Brent crude in London and West Texas Intermediate in New York will face a serious challenger. Here are some of the other key questions.

当地时间星期一上午9点,原油期货合约开始在上海国际能源交易中心进行交易。中国这个世界上最大的石油消费国,正在为外国人提供可以买卖的以人民币计价的期货,这在中国市场上是史无前例的。最令人感兴趣的问题是,伦敦国际石油交易所的“布伦特”原油期货合约以及纽约商业交易所的“西德克萨斯中质油”期货合约是否会面对这个严峻的挑战。下面是其它的一些关键问题。

注释:在中国的原油期货上市之前,世界上重要的原油期货合约有4个:纽约商业交易所(NYMEX)的轻质低硫原油即“西德克萨斯中质油”期货合约;高硫原油期货合约;伦敦国际石油交易所(IPE)的布伦特原油期货合约;新加坡交易所(SGX)的迪拜酸性原油期货合约。

1. Why is this important for China?

为什么原油期货上市对中国很重要?

Futures trading would wrest some control over pricing from the main international benchmarks, which are based on dollars. Denominating oil contracts in yuan would promote the use of China’s currency in global trade, one of the country’s key long-term goals. And China would benefit from having a benchmark that reflects the grades of oil that are mostly consumed by local refineries and differ from those underpinning Western contracts.

期货交易将使得中国能从那些基于美元的主要国际基准手中夺取一些石油定价的控制权。以人民币为主的石油期货合约将会促进中国货币在全球贸易中的使用,这是中国的一个重要长期目标。而且有这样一个反映石油等级的基准,中国将会从中获益,此前石油价格多数被当地的炼油厂和那些以西方利益为基础的期货合约所控制。

2. Why now?

为什么是现在?

The push for oil futures gained impetus in 2017 when China surpassed the U.S. as the world’s biggest crude importer. The Asian nation’s purchases reached a record high in January.

石油期货上市背后的推动力是2017年中国超越美国成为世界最大的原油进口国。亚洲国家今年1月份的石油进口量达到历史最高水平。

Lower crude prices have played a part as to why not earlier. Chinese oil futures were proposed in 2012 following spikes above $100 a barrel, but prices in 2017 have averaged little more than $50. There’s also concern over volatility. China introduced domestic crude futures in 1993, only to stop a year later because of volatility. In recent years, it repeatedly delayed its new contract amid turmoil in equities and financial markets. Such destabilizing moves have often prompted China’s government to intervene in markets in one way or another.

之前较低的原油价格在一定程度上解释了中国的石油期货上市为什么不早一些的原因。在2012年,中国的石油期货价格突破了每桶100美元,但是2017年石油的平均价格才略高于每桶50美元。原因也有对市场动荡的担忧。中国在1993年引进了国内原油期货,因为市场波动,仅仅一年后原油期货便停止了。近年来,在股市和金融市场动荡的情况下,中国一再推迟其新石油期货合约。这种不稳定的情况往往会促使中国政府以某种方式干预市场。

3. How do oil futures work?

石油期货如何运作?

Futures contracts fix prices today for delivery at a later date. Consumers use them to protect against higher prices down the line; speculators use them to bet on where prices are headed. In 2017, oil futures contracts in New York and London outstripped physical trading by a factor of 23. Crude oil is among the most actively traded commodities, with two key benchmarks: West Texas Intermediate, or WTI, which trades on the New York Mercantile Exchange, and Brent crude, which trades on ICE Futures Europe in London.

期货合约规定今天的价格,在将来某一时间交货。消费者利用期货合约来防止价格无限制上涨,而投机者则用它们来押注赌价格的走向。2017年,纽约商业交易所和伦敦国际石油交易所的石油期货合约交易量是实物交易的23倍。原油是其中交易最活跃的商品,原油交易有两个关键基准:一个是纽约商业交易的“西德克萨斯中质油”期货合约,或者称WTI。另一个是伦敦国际石油交易所的“布伦特”原油期货合约。

4. How will Shanghai futures work?

上海的原油期货如何运作?

Trading hours will be 9 a.m.-11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.-3 p.m. local time and, at night, 9 p.m.-2:30 a.m. The daily trading band has been set at 5 percent on either side, and 10 percent on its debut day, while margin requirements are at 7 percent. Seven grades will be deliverable, including Dubai crude, Basrah Light and China’s Shengli. The contracts will have 36 delivery months with the first 12 months as rolling contracts. The daily cost to store crude for delivery into the Shanghai exchange is set at 0.2 yuan a barrel, or at least twice the rate elsewhere, in a move seen as deterring excessive price swings.

交易时间为当地时间上午9:00到11:30,下午1:30 到15:00,晚上21:00到凌晨2:30。原油期货交易涨跌停板幅度为5%,首个交易日的涨跌停板幅度为基准价的10%,保证金为合约价值的7%。有7种石油可进行交付,包括迪拜的原油、伊拉克的巴士拉轻质原油以及中国的胜利原油。中国的原油期货合约交割月份是36个月,最近12个月为连续合约。上海交易中心的仓储费用定为每桶0.2元人民币。

6. What’s China’s track record in commodities?

中国曾经上市过什么期货?

Nickel was the last major commodity to be listed there in 2015; within six weeks, trading in Shanghai surpassed benchmark futures on the London Metal Exchange, or LME. In China, speculators play a far greater role, boosting trading volumes but making markets susceptible to volatility. In early 2016, the then-head of the LME said it was possible some Chinese traders did not even know what they were trading as investors piled into everything from steel reinforcement bars to iron ore. Steep price rises relented when China intervened with tighter trading rules, higher fees and shorter trading hours.

镍是中国最近在2015年上市的主要大宗商品,上市短短六周内,上海期货交易所的镍交易量就超过了伦敦金属交易所(LME)。在中国,投机者们发挥了更重要的作用,他们促进了镍的交易量,但同时也让市场更易受波动影响。在2016年初,当时的伦敦金属交易所主管表示中国的一些交易者可能甚至都不清楚他们是在交易什么商品,大量的投资者涌入期货市场,进行着从钢筋到铁矿石的各种投资。期货价格急剧上涨,直至中国介入,实行更严格的交易规则、增加交易成本费用、缩短交易时间,价格上涨才得以控制。

7. Will foreigners buy in?

外国买家是否会买入?

That remains to be seen. Overseas oil producers and traders would need to swallow not just China’s penchant for occasional market interventions but also its capital controls. Restrictions on moving money in and out of the country have been tightened in the past two years after a shock duation of the yuan in 2015 prompted a surge in money leaving the mainland. 

这还有待观察。海外石油生产商和贸易商需要忍受的不仅有中国偶尔进行市场干预的倾向,还有中国的资本控制。由于2015年人民币大幅贬值导致的资金外流,在过去的两年里,中国更严格控制了资金的国内外流动。

8. Could the yuan challenge the dollar’s dominance in oil?

人民币可以挑战石油市场里美元的主导地位吗?

Not any time soon , since paying for oil in dollars is an entrenched practice, according to some analysts. Shady Shaher, head of macro strategy at Dubai-based lender Emirates NBD PJSC, says it makes sense in the long run to look at transactions in yuan because China is a key market, but it will take years. Bloomberg Gadfly columnist David Fickling argues that China doesn’t have “nearly the influence in the oil market needed to carry out such a coup.” On the other hand, paying in yuan for oil could become part of President Xi Jinping’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative to develop ties across Eurasia, including the Middle East. 

据一些分析人士称,短时间内还不能,因为用美元进行石油交易已经是一种根深蒂固的做法了。总部位于迪拜的阿联酋EmiratES NBD银行旗下宏观策略中心负责人Shady Shaher表示,从长远来看,用人民币交易是有道理的,因为中国是一个重要市场,但这需要几年的时间。彭博社评论栏目Gadfly专栏作家David Fickling认为,中国在石油市场中还不具备引起这么大变化的能力。另一方面,用人民币进行石油交易或将成为中国主席“一带一路”主张的一部分。“一带一路”旨在连接欧亚大陆,包括中东在内。