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Nov 20, 2015 - China and Russia advanced their nuclear export programs this week with agreements to build new reactors in Argentina and Egypt, respectively. State-controlled China National Nuclear Corp. signed a commercial contract to build Argentina’s fourth and possibly fifth nuclear power plants, which are valued at approximately US$15 billion. China is expected to contribute 85 percent of the project financing. The deal comes as China seeks to strengthen its international presence as a leader in nuclear technology, as it moves to export its own reactor technology. Russia also stepped up its nuclear export program with the signing of an intergovernmental agreement to build Egypt’s first nuclear power facility at Dabaa. The contract for the four-unit project will reportedly include Russian financing.
In the UK, Energy Secretary Amber Rudd announced this week that the nation will phase out coal plants not fitted with carbon capture equipment and spur both nuclear and natural gas as an alternative to coal, as part of a policy to balance reductions in carbon pollution with the need to protect consumers from rising costs (News, p. 4). Her comments follow a recent realignment of the UK’s energy policy by Prime Minister David Cameron’s government, which is moving away from wind and solar power subsidies and toward natural gas as a way to meet European Union mandates on pollution. New nuclear power plants are also expected to contribute to clean energy goals within the UK.
Activity in the spot uranium market remains slow as the US Thanksgiving holiday approaches next week. Six transactions are reported for the week, involving deliveries in 2016. A few sellers are actively seeking to place material, but have not demonstrated a strong willingness to reduce prices in order to conclude business. Many sellers are awaiting feedback from a US utility that is evaluating offers for 850,000 pounds U3O8 or equivalent UF6 for delivery in February 2016, and up to 800,000 pounds U3O8 equivalent in September 2016. The utility is seeking additional quantities for delivery in the 2017-2021 period. The majority of buyers have covered their needs for 2015, and into early 2016, and are not highly motivated. As a result, transaction volume is low, with the spot price exhibiting very little movement.
TradeTech’s Weekly U3O8 Spot Price Indicator remains at $36.00 per pound U3O8, unchanged from last week’s Indicator and unchanged from the November 19 Daily U3O8 Spot Price Indicator.  read more