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Spot Uranium Nears US$70/lb

Commodities | Jan 25 2011

This story features PALADIN ENERGY LIMITED. For more info SHARE ANALYSIS: PDN

By Chris Shaw

Spot uranium prices have continued their recent rally, industry consultant TradeTech lifting its Weekly Spot Price Indicator for the week ending last Friday by US$2.50 to US$69.00 per pound. This is the highest level for spot prices since April of 2008.

TradeTech notes while the higher prices have seen some buyers retreat, others have been prepared to pay up to secure material. As evidence of this, more than 800,000 pounds of material changed hands over the past week through five transactions, prices in these deals being close to the consultant's Spot Price Indicator.

Buyers of the material included utilities, traders and financial entities, while TradeTech notes new demand is emerging from a non-US utility seeking offers for a total of 400,000 pounds of material to be delivered by July of this year.

Spot supply remains thin according to TradeTech, as sellers appear convinced further price gains are likely. This is reflected in the fact suppliers holding material are increasing the level of their offer prices with each consecutive transaction. Also boosting prices have been reports of missed production targets from several producers in the sector.

Australia's Paladin Energy ((PDN)) falls into this category, announcing a production target downgrade of 14% earlier this month thanks to delays at its Kayelekera project in Malawi.

The term uranium market has seen two transactions in the past week, TradeTech noting these deals involve the delivery of two million pounds of material between now and 2017. An offer for up to one million pounds of uranium for delivery in 2012 through 2016 is currently being evaluated, along with an offer for 2.5 million pounds for delivery between 2017 and 2021.

TradeTech notes the term market, as with the spot market, is under upward pressure from expectations of increased demand during the first half of this year. The group's Mid-Term Price Indicator stands at US$64 per pound, while its Long-Term Price Indicator stands at US$67 per pound.

The conversion market has seen two transactions in the past week, while TradeTech notes there was no new activity in the enrichment market.

See also "Uranium Report 2011" published earlier this week and "Spot U3O8 Up On Increasing Demand" from January 18.

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