2009年7月15日星期三

被低估的商品:天然氣

正常情況下,石油跟天然氣的走勢應該是同步,主要是因為兩者的用途相似,可以稱為「Complement」。不過,當踏入2009年,兩者的走勢開始背馳,石油在人們對經濟復甦的願景支持下,不經不覺間上升至60-70美元水平,但是天然氣價格卻一路走低,究竟天然氣的基本因素是否出現了問題呢?

供求失衡 價格下跌

為了解答以上問題,我在網上翻查了天然氣的資料,發現天然氣的價格下跌可能是因為工業需求下降及美國供過於求。美國能源資料協會早前指出,工業範疇疲弱將為天然氣需求下降的主要原因,預期2009年工廠及生產商每日將會消耗天然氣167億立方英尺,按年下跌8.2%。由此可見,天然氣的需求面暫時仍處疲弱狀態。

另一方面,美國為其中一個天然氣大需求國,因此美國供求對天然氣價格有重大影響。美國能源資料協會(EIA)早前公布,截至5月15日止,美國天然氣庫存升至歷史最高水平的21,160億立方英尺,按周增加1,030億立方英尺,按年則增加5,140億立方英尺或32%,較五年平均值高出3,870億立方英尺或22%。

市場矯枉過正 天然氣價格被低估

綜合以上因素,看起來好像對天然氣價格相當不利,但是我覺得市場現時是過度反映及天然氣實際上也存在不少利好因素。

首先,天然氣與石油的價格比例的歷史平均數值為8-9之間,但是現時兩者的比例約為16倍,這意味著不是石油價格過高,就是天然氣價格過低。Either the crude oil's price is overvalued or the natural gas's price is undervalued!

第二,一份石油的能源效益大約相當於5.8份天然氣,現時的石油價格大約為60美元,假設我們將60美元除以5.8,得出的結果為10.34美元,意味天然氣價格大約要維持在這個水平,但是實際上現時天然氣的價格還在4美元以下,當中存在很大折讓。

第三,6月份Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)通過法案,有關法案認為過多二氧化碳正在威脅地球生態;為阻止溫室效應惡化,各國政府必須加強監管甚至向排放二氧化碳較多的行業抽稅。現在美國電力50%來自煤,美國煤礦公司Consol Energy已公布暫停兩個煤礦開採,因為不清楚未來政府監管條例會幾苛刻及抽幾多稅,天然氣相信係最大受惠者。EPA亦要求汽車提升燃油效率、發展電能汽車及減少建築物消耗能源。(信報曹SIR資訊)

第四,全球最大天然氣供應商如Chesapeake Energy、Devon Energy等已開始減產,供應將會減少。當天然氣保持弱勢,更多供應商就要降低開採計劃預算,令產量逐步縮減;一旦需求顯著回升,供應不能即時滿足需求,天然氣價格便可望戲劇性回升。IEA的報告指出,今年全球在油氣上游環節的投資估計削減高達1000億美元,比2008年減少21%,由2008年10月至2009年4月底,總值1700億美元、超過二十個大型油田及氣田計劃已中止或取消運作,涉及每日200萬桶原油和10億立方呎燃氣的產出,另外涉及每日420萬桶原油和23億立方呎燃氣產能的35項計劃將延遲最少18個月。

總結

我深信天然氣現時的價格被低估,在未來的日子裡,或許天然氣的低價將會被市場人士所發現,扭轉與石油嚴重背馳的局面。

圖表: 黑線為石油走勢 藍線為天然氣走勢

11 則留言:

another value investor 說...

Hi,

I have been following your blog for sometime and this is my first time posting.

Natural gas prices vary around the world due to transportation issues. Two main methods for transportation: pipelines and LNG (liquefied natural gas). Until recently there are very few LNG facilities in North America to take advantage of the extremely low-cost gas produced in places such as Indonesia and the Middle East. However, there are several new LNG terminal built in the US which may structurally change the picture, although I doubt there will be a significant impact initially.

On the other hand, if you indeed think NG will go up, what's the best way to profit from it? I do own Chesapeake myself but think there might be more profitable way to capitalize on the up trend. I have thought of utilizing NG futures contracts.

Larry 洪龍荃 說...

Hi Another Value Investor,

Nice to meet you! It is nice for you to provide more information of natural gas.

Actually, there is a natural gas ETF in US. I think it is the most convenient way to profit from natural gas!

another value investor 說...

yes, UNG is one way to play it. However, with the future contract prices in steep contango, if NG stays low for a prolonged period, the value of the ETF will quickly erode.

Larry 洪龍荃 說...

Another value investor,

Sure. It is now in contango, and I predict that NG will soar in a short period. Thanks for your information again!

匿名 說...

larry
which natural gay company u think the best in hk?
thx

Larry 洪龍荃 說...

For the gas company listed in HK, I am not familiar with. I am sorry that I cannot provide any suggestion.

匿名 說...

hi~ some nice info that u had posted. It seems that there's no ETF trading in HK. It might be difficult to get profit even if NG raised... damn... lol

nicky 說...

Hi this is my first time to read your blog as i thinking the ng price still finding the bottom. And for canada tsx, the ng etf will be Hnu/hnd, you can take a look^^

KingYeah 說...

If I followed your advise, I will be dead meat. Little boy.

匿名 說...

give up la

匿名 說...

有點事後諸葛, UNG 跌啦 3 年說