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A Calmer Month For Uranium

Commodities | Apr 02 2013

By Andrew Nelson

March was a mild and somewhat positive month for uranium, with producers hoping TS Elliot is wrong in his claim that April is the cruellest month.

It was a slow month, activity wise, with the 19 deals in March a bit less than the 21 transactions booked in the month prior, while volumes of 2.6 million pounds of uranium fell well short of the 3.2 million pounds of U308 equivalent changing hands in February.

Industry consultant TradeTech notes that year to date volume is at 10.5m pounds, well up from the 3.6m pounds reported in the first quarter of 2012.

The market simmered down quite a bit after the uncertainty and price volatility seen at the end of February after it was rumoured that Japanese utilities were considering selling down stockpiles. By the end of March, TradeTech's Exchange Value was up US$0.25 to US$42.25/lb.

Activity in the term uranium market was even slower, with only one transaction reported for deliveries beyond 2015. Although, TradeTech does report there are a number of utilities expected to enter the term market in coming weeks.

Until then, prices will stay exactly where they are and where they have been over the course of the month. TradeTech's Mid -Term U308 Price Indicator is at US$46.00/lb and the Long-Term Price Indicator is unchanged from last month's value of US$57.00/lb.

The last week of the month was especially light on given the interruption of the Easter holiday and spring break in the US. Just three transactions were reported last week accounting for 400,000 pounds. The spot uranium price remained unchanged, making for three flat weeks in a row.

TradeTech notes that demand remains highly discretionary. There are several buyers poised to enter the market, although sellers themselves aren’t really chasing sales and continue to shown little willingness to drop prices for the moment.

And as can be gathered from the above commentary on term markets, there were no transactions reported last week. There is one non-US utility looking for around 2 million pounds for delivery between 2014 and 2020, but that’s about all that’s kicking around at present expect for a few more utilities that may be looking at purchases totalling about 8 million pounds for delivery between 2015 and 2025.

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