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Uranium Week: High Turnover, Weak Price

Weekly Reports | Apr 04 2018

The spot uranium market saw its second highest monthly turnover in March, but still prices slip away.

-Volumes up
-Prices down


By Greg Peel

This week’s report is relatively brief given last week’s Good Friday holiday.

In the week prior, the US Department of Energy announced it would suspend periodic sales of government held uranium which were being used to fund the clean-up of the Portsmouth enrichment facility, removing 1.6mlbs of supply from the market. The market’s initial response was unsurprisingly positive.

But it was short-lived. Ongoing concerns regarding other issues, including trade wars, potential buy-US quotas for US utilities and uncertainty surrounding the impact of recent production cut announcements from major producers continue to weigh on sentiment. Despite the DoE news, industry consultant TradeTech’s weekly spot price indicator fell -US65c to US$21.00/lb last week.

The end-March price is down -US50c from the end-February price.

The volume of trading in March was nevertheless the second highest on record. There were 48 transactions completed in the month, totalling 6.3mlbs U3O8 equivalent. The number of yearly spot transactions nearly doubled since 2012.

Not that it’s done much for the price.

Traders and intermediaries continued to dominate both sides of the market in March, but 20% of the buy side was represented by utilities, which is at least an improvement.

Term markets have remained relatively quiet due to the uncertainty facing US utilities. TradeTech’s term price indicators have again ticked down, to US$25.50/lb from US$25.75/lb (mid) and to US$28.00/lb from US$29.00/lb (long)

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