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2019-09-26 20 ENGLISH REPORTS
We believe cement shipments are a great leading indicator for a pick-up in infrastructure demand and thus are a sign of major stimuli from the government in terms of liquidity loosening and key infra project launches, for the following reasons: High exposure to infra demand, high sensitivity to stimulus: the biggest driver of downstream cement demand in China is infrastructure construction (~40%), followed by property (35%) and rural construction (25%). Some regions, e.g. Guangdong, BeijingTianjin-Hebei (BTH), have even higher exposure to infra at >45%. Short storage life/ small inventory: most commodities are stored in large quantities thus it is hard to gauge actual downstream demand/usage. For cement, the shelf life is only a month (three months for clinker), thus shipment is a more accurate indicator of actual demand rather than just restocking/destocking activities which could be affected by sentiment. Regional nature due to small sales radius: Due to its short storage life and relatively low prices (ASP at Rmb500/t vs e.g. steel ~Rmb4000/t, glass ~Rmb1,500/t), cement is not suitable for long-distance transportation, especially by truck. Transportation cost by truck is around Rmb0.5/t/km (vs. Rmb0.18/t/km by rail and Rmb0.03-0.04/t/km on water). The transportation radius is ~100km by truck (within a province), 300-500km by railway (e.g. Inner Mongolia to Hebei) and ~1,000km on water (eg. Hebei to Fujian). Thus local shipment data can be a good indicator of local demand. High frequency: we track this data weekly by province with great granularity and can spot trends quickly, usually before monthly data comes out.
Shipments strongest in regions with large infra projects YTD: We see the strongest shipment growth YTD YoY in regions with key infra projects kicking off. Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei (BTH) saw the strongest pick-up in shipments (+23% YoY) since the beginning of the year with the kick-off of construction of the Xiongan New Area in 1Q19, which we think will boost cement demand in BTH by 5-10% pa. Shaanxi has also seen strong shipments YTD (+14% YoY), again driven by the kick-off of major infra projects, e.g Xixiang to Zhenba Expressway, Ningshan to Shiquan Expressway, and Southern Shaanxi Resettlement Project. Stronger-than-usual pick-up in Guangdong: we saw heavier-than-usual rainfall in Guangdong (precipitation +77% higher than historical average), which has impacted the onset of cement demand in the region. However, in the past two weeks, shipments in Guangdong have seen 20% growth, based on our channel checks, where several Greater Bay Area (GBA) infra projects have been kicked off since the official launch of the GBA in May 2019. Construction of the Guangzhou-Shanwei high speed rail and Shenyang-Haikou highway began recently, and we estimate the new projects will boost cement demand in the GBA by an additional 3-4% pa in the next five years – see our report “GBA Quantified”.
标签： ENGLISH REPORTS