Uranium

Demand

  • According to WNA (World Nuclear Association):
    • 4.4% – annual growth rate of uranium consumption between 2017 and 2021.
    • 30% – forecasted growth in uranium consumption between 2019 and 2035.
    • 120mlbs – expected annual deficit of uranium in the world market by 2035.
    • 446 reactors operational, 56 under construction, 111 planned and +300 proposed.
    • China, India and Russia currently lead the world in reactors under construction (30 of an estimated 56 under construction).
  •  Percentage of long term contracts uncovered continues to grow.

Supply

  • Extended period of low prices has forced mine closures.
  • Kazakhstan has become the world’s largest producer of uranium with production peaking at 60 mlbs in 2016. 
  • Mines need significantly higher prices in order to be incentivised to re-re-start production. 
  • In 2018 alone 17% of global mined production is expected to be shutdown (Canaccord).

Inventory

  • Moveable inventory levels now estimated to be 1.5 – 2 years of demand. 
  • Similar to the oil market, significant players in the uranium market, such as the US, China and Russia, maintain strategic reserves of uranium and processed nuclear fuel. 

Section 232 Investigation Removes Uncertainty

  • The recently announced resolution to the Section 232 trade negotiation should remove the market uncertainty and allow US utilities to begin to negotiate new term contracts.