Uranium Week: Ground To A Halt

Weekly Reports | Jan 30 2018

A petition to the US government threatens to ensure uncertainty in the uranium market for some time.

-US producers appeal to president's protectionist ilk
-Uncertainty rules
-Spot and term prices remain under pressure

By Greg Peel

Last week’s Uranium Week highlighted a petition filed with the US Department of Commerce by US uranium producers Ur-Energy and Energy Fuels. This petition has brought the uranium market to a screaming halt.

The petition requests that the DOC initiate a section 232 review of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. The purpose of the Act is to protect national security industries that are under threat from imports. US uranium producers are under threat from “state-sponsored” producers which, although not specifically stated, would imply producers in Russia and Kazakhstan.

US producers would like to see a mandated requirement that US utilities purchase a minimum 25% of their requirements from US producers. US utilities have nevertheless warned that such a quota would force the early shutdown of some nuclear plants. For a protectionist president, such a quota would be consistent with current and evolving trade policy. But would Trump impose such a quota under the circumstances?

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