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Uranium Week: All Talk But Little Action

Weekly Reports | Sep 19 2017

Nuclear will be the second fastest growing source of global energy out to 2040, the EIA forecast last week, but minimal impact was felt in uranium markets.

By Greg Peel

Over the period 2015-40, world energy consumption is forecast by the US Energy Information Agency to grow by 28%. To provide for that growth in demand, renewable energy sources are forecast to see the fastest growth, of 2.3% per annum, followed by nuclear power at 1.5%.

The demand for coal is expected to remain flat as coal-fired generation is increasingly replaced by gas-fired, renewable and nuclear sources and the demand for coal in industrial processes weakens.

Some 60% of growth in global energy demand is expected from China and other non-OECD Asian countries.

The Pakistani prime minister last week inaugurated the country’s fifth nuclear power plant, built by the Chinese.

Painfully Incremental Progress

This all should have been good news for uranium markets last week but the spot market managed only three transactions, and while industry consultant TradeTech’s spot price indicator rose for a fourth consecutive week, at US10c to US$20.75/lb any gains remain painfully incremental.

Several utilities are currently considering offers for term delivery contracts but no transactions were reported last week. TradeTech’s term price indicators remain at US$24.30/lb (mid) and US$31.00/lb (long).

To be fair, the industry did gather in London last week for the annual World Nuclear Association Symposium. Typically, activity drops off each year with many participants away from their desks. But there’s no denying any positive reports, albeit long term in perspective, are currently failing to convert to increased activity in uranium markets.

Rather, the same record keeps playing. Japan’s regulator last week delayed approval of Tokyo Power Co’s request to restart Kashiwazaki-Kariwa units 6 and 7 pending the company’s lodging of safety codes and procedures.

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