Reasons for increased demand

The demand of uranium energy has increased in recent years. Currently, the world uranium market is suffering from a supply deficit, which is expected to continue for the next several years, but despite this, nuclear generators in the U.S. have been shutting down because of poor economics. This article examines the uranium market outlook, the factors contributing to the uranium supply deficit, and the potential for uranium exploration and production in the U.S.

 The latest uranium news is pushing uranium prices higher, with some analysts forecasting prices could reach $100 per pound by the end of next year. The spot price for uranium ore on the London Metal Exchange is currently $66.20 per pound and reached $20.30 per pound in June, the lowest level since September 2010.



This represents a significant decline from the $136.50 per pound spot price of December 2007 and a substantial fall from the high of $136.50 per pound achieved in June 2007


Over the next 10 years there is still a significant difference between known supply and demand for uranium – a gap.  This supply shortfall amounts to almost 400 million pounds or 23% of western demand over this period.





Reasons for increased supply

As a result of increased demand for nuclear energy, the uranium market has been ever in supply for the last few years. The main cause of this production being increased is the increased demand of countries like China, India and Russia who are stepping up in their nuclear programs and the fact that a lot of uranium producing countries have started to ramp up production.

As a result, the uranium market has seen a major supply increase. In addition to the increased supply of uranium, we see that the demand for the nuclear energy is progressing at a rapid rate. The main cause of this increased demand is because of China, India and Russia, who are stepping up their nuclear programs as well as the fact that a lot of uranium producing countries have started to ramp up production.




Canada and Australia today account for just over 50% of the world's total primary production.


Energy production






Uranium has three naturally occurring isotopes: uranium-238, uranium-235 and uranium-234. These isotopes are present in uranium ore at specific but slightly different ratios.



Uranium Production from ISR According to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), uranium-238 is the most abundant isotope in uranium ore, making up about 99.284 percent of natural uranium.


Uranium-235 is the next most common, comprising about 0.720 percent, and uranium-234 makes up about 0.006 percent. Violet is used in jewelry to make the stone look more vibrant.


In the early 1980’s the U.S. was the world’s leading producer of uranium.  This high production was supported by $40 per pound U3O8 sales contracts entered into in the 1970’s, prior to Three Mile ISR and.


Low uranium prices have led to significant consolidation of producers, such that two companies (both owned by Cameco Corporation of Canada) have dominated U.S. production for the past five years.







Higher prices will enable more companies to enter into production, stimulate competition, and provide U.S. utilities with greater variety of supply for their nuclear fuel.







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