By Dave Brown - Exclusive to Uranium Investing News

The first decade of the millennium ended with uranium spot market prices remaining unchanged for a third week after trading in the spot market slowed as traders went on seasonal holidays.  Ux Consulting Company reported uranium-oxide concentrate for immediate delivery traded at $62.50 a pound in the week to December 31, an increase of 4.2 percent from the start of the month. The 40 percent surge in spot prices in 2010 was the biggest atomic expansion since the decade after the 1970s oil crisis primarily triggered by investment from China and India to reduce air pollution and power their economies.

Uranium producers in Canada and Australia are anticipating global demand to increase as countries expand their use of nuclear power to curb emissions from burning fossil fuels, particularly coal. Trading in uranium futures is expected to climb this year from 2010, especially if utilities raise their participation in the market. Last year, more than 25,000 contracts involving more than 6 million pounds of concentrate were traded representing  an increase of almost five times the previous year's total.

Hedge funds and institutional investors who returned to the market last year are expected to increase trading volumes in the physical market this year. “Activity remains slow and few participants have shown much interest in completing transactions,” UxC said. “As market participants come back from the holidays, we will see brokers' forward offerings fill out with more bids and offers.”  Uranium output from mines in Kazakhstan, which reached 10 million pounds in 2010, is expected to increase again this year.  Additionally, the United Kingdom (UK) may order a new reactor and a Middle Eastern country is expected to make a “serious push” to go nuclear.