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Uranium Week: Traction Lost

Weekly Reports | Aug 22 2017

Any sign of a rally was quashed last week as spot uranium again fell under US$20/lb.

By Greg Peel

Just when it looked like the spot uranium price may finally be able to move away from the US$20/lb mark, an active week saw buyers once again back off as sellers tried to pounce. With 900,000lbs U3O8 equivalent changing hands in nine transactions, it was an unusually busy week for the northern summer.

There remains the issue of disparity of delivery location, timing and terms, which continues to ensure a wide spread of transaction pricing. Either way, utilities interested in buying backed off their bids over the course of the week as plenty of sellers lined up among traders and speculators.

Industry consultant TradeTech’s weekly spot price indicator has fallen -US85c to US$19.90/lb. The consultant’s term price indicators remain unchanged at US$24.40/lb (mid) and US$32.00/lb (long).

Japan, US Navy, And China

The two steps forward, one step back process that is ensuring a very slow return to nuclear power capacity in Japan was again evident last week. Kyushu Electric’s Genkai units 3 and 4 were expected to restart in the northern autumn but due to the slow pace of safety screenings that expectation has been pushed out to winter or maybe even next year.

Meanwhile in the US, where the future is the nuclear power industry is uncertain for a different reason (call it “cheap gas”), another reason to keep the industry afloat surfaced last week being there’s not much point in having a fleet of nuclear-powered navy vessels and no nuclear power. Suffice to say the US Energy Futures Initiative has recommended the federal government ensures the industry is supported.

And in other news, a newly formed Chinese joint venture plans to build and operate twenty floating nuclear power plants in the South China Sea.

What could possibly go wrong?

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