Uranium Market Looking Up, Prices Holding Steady

Uranium Market Looking Up, Prices Holding SteadyToday's industry comment from analyst David Sadowski of Raymond James reveals some good news for the uranium sector. Activity surged 2.7 million pounds on the spot market last week, with both spot and long-term prices holding steady overall, an improvement from the downward sentiment the energy metal has seen this year.

Spot uranium prices sat at US$31 per pound at the end of the week, while the long-term price held at US$44 per pound, the analyst said. That puts the spot price 8.8 percent up from $28.50, where it was at the end of July.

Sadowski points in his note to "US utilities requesting near-term-delivery" as one driver of the spot price, but remains only cautiously optimistic about uranium's performance. He states, "[r]ecent strength in demand coupled with diminishing supply has driven prices higher; however, spot prices appear to have leveled off w/ the latest transactions below US$31.50/lb resulting in an unchanged weekly price."

Still, there is room for improvement for the long-term price. As Sadowski notes, "there remains two outstanding term requests for 4.5 Mlbs due by month-end."

Reactor restarts on the horizon

Sadowski also says in his note that Japan's trade ministry is looking to mitigate rising costs tied to additional safety regulations for nuclear-generated electricity. In terms of restarts, a 30-day public comment period regarding the start of the country's Sendai 1 and 2 reactors resulted in approximately 17,00 comments. These will be included in a final safety report for the reactors, which could be released as soon as September.

In China, the Fuqing No. 1 reactor is expected to come to commercial production in November and is now connected to the grid, while three remaining reactors are set to come online by March of 2017. In Belgium, two reactors will stay closed until at least spring of next year, and may shut down permanently because of weakened tanks.