Uranium Prices: Optimism Lifts as Summer Lull Period Ends

Even though uranium prices remain weak, market participants are optimistic that things will improve now that the summer lull period has ended while some progress when it comes to the U.S. nuclear power industry is providing another reason to be positive.

Uranium prices shot up earlier in the year, but this optimism faded as the months progressed. While the bottom never fell out of the market, spot prices have lingered below $21 per lb for months and faced considerable resistance in crossing above the $20 per lb price point.

According to industry group TradeTech, last week spot prices added just 5 cents to reach $20.25 per lb. Over August as a whole, 31 transactions totalling 3.3mlbs U3O8 equivalent took place. This was roughly in line with July volumes but below the five year average for August.

Meanwhile, after a disappointing month when it comes to the U.S. nuclear power industry, news that Georgia Power recommended to the Georgia Public Service Commission that the construction of Vogtle units 3 and 4 should continue, sparked some positive sentiment. There have been a bunch of cost overruns and delays in the U.S. when it comes to nuclear power capacity. While U.S. demand is not “needed” when it comes to overall global, nuclear power growth – it helps.

But, even if U.S. nuclear power development is slow, globally it continues. Japan continues to make progress with its nuclear reactor restarts, and India and China are rebuilding capacity at a high level.

This week, Brazil and China increased their cooperation when for nuclear power development. China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) and Brazilian power company Eletrobras and its nuclear subsidiary Eletronuclear signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to further promote cooperation in nuclear energy.

Leia Toovey has a B.Sc. in geology from Simon Fraser University, and her degree had a focus on resource economics. Out of school, she started working in the booming mining industry of Vancouver, Canada, covering junior mining stocks and commodities including potash, copper, nickel, oil and gold. Then she moved to New York and worked as a commodities analyst covering a breadth of commodities, from the Baltic Dry Index through the softs. As a geologist she has a greater understanding of the exploration and extraction side of commodities, and how changes in technology and the depletion of resources impact pricing. At Economic Calendar she covers a variety of commodities, providing daily technical and fundamental analysis and assessing major market developments.