Uranium Report 2021 – Update 2
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The uranium sector has a supply deficit of around 120 million pounds of U3O8 for 2020 and 2021 alone. This is mainly because the major uranium producers - led by Cameco and Kazatomprom - have drastically cut back their production after years of inefficient overproduction.
In addition, more recently there have been financial big players, such as Yellowcake plc and the Sprott Physical Uranium Trust, which together have sucked more than 40 million pounds of U3O8 from the (spot) market in recent months, thus further fuelling the existing supply deficit.
Furthermore, the development of so-called "Small Modular Reactors" (SMR) is progressing rapidly. These are nuclear fission reactors that are smaller than conventional reactors, can be manufactured in a factory and then moved to an assembly site. Among others, a company owned by Microsoft founder Bill Gates is also working on implementing such reactors, one of which is already in use in ship form in northern Russia. This should create a huge surge in demand for uranium in the future, as there is no way around nuclear power as the only base-load capable, emission-free energy source in the coming decades if the climate targets set around the globe are to be achieved.
All three major points together (supply cut, demand increase by physically deposited funds and other players, announcement of a rapid development and establishment of SMRs in the context of the COP26 world climate conference in Glasgow) caused the uranium spot price to rise noticeably to a level of just under US$ 50 per pound of U3O8.
The fact that this has not already gone completely through the roof is probably due to two main points. Firstly, the still existing stocks, which have been built up since the Fukushima disaster of 10 years ago and have not yet been completely used up again. And secondly, because of the main uranium demanders, the global power plant operators, who have been trying to secure their supply at the cheap spot price in the short term in recent years. However, in the face of an exuberant supply deficit, they are likely to return to the negotiating table shortly and renegotiate expiring contracts (about 75% of total demand will soon be out of contract). The first signs of this are already evident. Until then, producers, future producers as well as uranium funds are buying the spot market dry and thus increasing the pressure on the utilities.
This report provides a wealth of information on the uranium sector and offers insightful interviews with exclusively selected experts from the industry. The presentation of a number of interesting companies that are suitable for speculation on rising uranium prices completes the report.