Chinas Energie­krise strahlt aus und gibt einen Vorgeschmack

Sprechen wir über die Energiekrise in China. Ja, dort wird der Strom zeitweise abgestellt. Auch weil die Regierung auf Klimaschutz setzt. Es zeigt nicht, dass das falsch ist. Es zeigt, wie schwer es ist:

  • “Chinese coal stocks are down to 18 days’ cover, deemed dangerously low by Beijing. It has long been the nightmare of Communist Party planners that the US might weaponise China’s dependency on fuel imports in a crisis. (…)  thermal coal inventories at power plants are critically low. (…) Plants cannot pass on the surging cost – hitting $300 a tonne in places, up fourfold in a year – and are losing money on a systemic scale. One producer said his plant is losing a dime on every kilowatt of power. Banks are pulling credit lines.” – bto: Das ist ein weiteres massives Problem für die chinesische Wirtschaft, was Inflation treibt und Wachstum dämpft.
  • Regions accounting for 70pc of Chinese GDP are rationing power to industrial users, and in some cases have halted operations altogether. Large parts of north-east China are facing power cuts for several hours each day, hitting traffic lights and cell phone masts. (…) Dozens of plants processing soybeans, feed and vegetable oil have been suspended. The steel, cement, aluminium and chemical sectors are under restrictive orders to varying degrees, facing staggered production to avoid peak hours.” – bto: Das ist das, was bei uns die Grünen unter einer “Flexibilisierung” der Nachfrage verstehen.
  • “(Nomura) expects China’s economy to contract by 0.2pc this quarter and barely eke out any growth over the rest of the year. That is a double-dip recession with Chinese characteristics. It is puzzling that global markets have been so insouciant about a power crisis in Asia’s anchor economy. The slowdown is happening just as fiscal stimulus fades in Europe and America, and as Western central banks start to tighten in the face of incipient stagflation and a rapidly rising misery index.” – bto: So ist es. Was hier passiert, ist der Vorläufer der nächsten Krise, die noch mehr Interventionen der Notenbanken erforderlich macht.
  • “What can possibly go wrong in global equity markets still at nosebleed P/E ratios? While this newsletter does not give investment advice, as a personal precaution I have liquidated most of my modest salaryman’s portfolio and intend to ride out the early autumn with 80pc in cash until risk and reward come back into plausible alignment.” – bto: Ich finde, es ist sinnvoll, vorsichtig zu sein.
  • “Nor am I buying Anglo-Saxon or eurozone ‘safe-haven’ bonds, given rising structural deficits and the imminent retreat of the chief buyers amid so much debt issuance. The auction of two-year US Treasuries last night was a shocker, the worst cover ratio since December 2008.” – bto: Auch das leuchtet mir ein, allerdings ist das Geld auf dem Bankkonto nicht sicher.
  • Construction accounts for a quarter of Chinese GDP and half of the world’s diggers, cranes, and cement mixing. It diverts funds from the green, hi-tech, robotics, AI, cloud computing, and advanced semiconductors sectors, where the struggle for superpower mastery is really taking place. (…) Land sales were down 64pc in August from a year earlier. They are the leading indicator of the building industry.” – bto: Die Regierung will den Umbau der Wirtschaftsstruktur und genau dies bedeutet zunächst weniger Wachstum. Kommen die Energiepreise dazu, haben wir das Problem.
  • “You could say that Xi has brought forward a denouement bound to happen because China’s workforce is shrinking by three million a year, marriages have fallen by a third in seven years, household formation has slowed, and rural migration has all but ended. Buyers will be progressively scarcer, rendering the developer model of pre-selling homes to cover past costs a slow-motion Ponzi scheme.” – bto: Genau das ist es. Und wie alle Ponzi-Schemata sind sie am Ende, wenn mehr Geld ab- als zufließt.
  • “The property squeeze is compounded by a parallel squeeze on carbon. Xi has promised peak CO2 emissions by 2030, a 25pc cut per unit of GDP by 2025, and a 3pc cut in energy intensity this year. He knows that China is paying a high credibility price for foot-dragging as Europe and the US launch green deals, and may soon face a carbon border tax in its top markets if it is not careful.” – bto: Deshalb haben wir auch hier die Auswirkungen zu spüren. Ich wundere mich aber über die Kohleknappheit und denke, das hat eher mit erheblicher Mehrnachfrage und geringeren Investitionen in neue Minen zu tun.
  • “Party cadres have been mobilised to pursue CO2 crimes, and are reportedly doing so with the zeal of the Cultural Revolution. The state planner (NDRC) says 20 Chinese provinces have failed to meet this year’s goals on cutting energy intensity. Nomura says nine have received ‘Level 1 warnings’, including Guangdong and Jiangsu, 35pc of China’s economy between them.” – bto: Ich muss sagen, es fehlt mir der Glaube, dass die Chinesen so dem deutschen Vorbild folgen.
  • The steel, cement, and aluminium industries face production caps by the industry ministry (MIIT). They stole part of their allowance over the first half, and must cut back this half to compensate. That means drastic falls in steel output. It has already begun and is hammering iron ore prices, along with miners such as Vale and BHP Billiton.” – bto: Also wirkt es deflationär und inflationär, aber auf jeden Fall dämpfend für die Weltwirtschaft.
  • “China’s energy crunch is happening for much the same reasons as in Europe. Covid upset the rhythms of the global fuel market. The weather was extreme: drought hit hydro-power, and the hot summer boosted air conditioning. The result was an explosion in demand for coal and gas. The cost of liquefied natural gas in Shanghai reached $26 MBBtu, luring away shipments that would otherwise have gone to Europe to replenish depleted inventories. China is now the world’s biggest LNG importer.” – bto: Bei uns war es die Windstille, die die Nachfrage getrieben hat.
  • “In August it bought 6.4m tonnes, compared to 4.9m in Europe and Turkey combined (ICIS data). Put another way, Britain’s gas crisis is a function of China’s industrial cycle.” – bto: Und dies gilt ebenso für die EU inklusive Deutschland.
  • “But markets roll over when you least expect. I don’t wish to pick on Goldman Sachs, and agree that depressed investment in upstream oil and gas implies a fossil supercycle in the early 2020s. But I watch with a jaundiced eye as the bank raises its crude oil forecast to $90 this year, in part citing gas to oil switching for power plants. (…) If China is slowing as hard as doubters suspect, it will do the world a big favour and head off a political crisis in Europe and the UK this winter. No elected government can easily survive loss of control over energy security. Nor should it.” – bto: Eigentlich wäre uns eine solche Krise heute zu wünschen, damit wir die große, selbst verursachte, noch verhindern können! „China’s energy crisis will rock the whole world”, 28. September 2021