Good overview of global uranium price/demand outlook included in EFR quarterly report EFR yesterday. Some highlights:
" ... long-term demand fundamentals within the uranium sector remain strong. China, Russia, India, the U.S., the UK, Saudi Arabia and Brazil continue to develop nuclear power plants. Globally, there are now 66 nuclear reactors under construction, and 479 nuclear reactors are planned or proposed (versus 65 and 484, respectively, in the last quarter), as reported by the World Nuclear Association. Indeed, China and India plan to begin operation at eight nuclear reactors this year. In addition, long-term supplies may not meet demand, as uranium mining projects around the world continue to be delayed and shelved as a result of the current price weakness...
"In addition, several positive market indicators are described below:
"The discontinuation of the US-Russia highly enriched uranium ("HEU") agreement in November 2013 appears certain. This could remove as much as 24 million pounds of uranium from World supplies. In addition, the delay of several very large, new uranium development projects could constrict uranium supply over the medium- to long-term.
"Globally, reactor demand for U3O8 is currently about 183 million lbs. annually to supply just the currently operating units. Primary uranium production from operating mines is about 152 million lbs. annually. The 31 million lb. gap is filled with secondary supplies drawn from various inventories around the world which continue to diminish, most notably the removal of up to 24 million pounds from Russian HEU.
"Nuclear reactor 'new-build' activity remained firm throughout the market disruption caused by the natural disaster at Fukushima. According to the World Nuclear Association, there are about the same number of reactors in operation, under construction, planned and proposed now as there were prior to Fukushima. The 66 reactors now under construction will generate almost 33 million lbs. per year of new demand for U3O8, and should all 479 reactors currently planned and proposed be constructed, that will more than double the current annual global demand for U3O8.
"The supply of uranium will likely be restricted due to the depressed U3O8 price since Fukushima. Uranium pricing has not only caused the delay of major announced uranium mining projects, but has also slowed the development of new projects worldwide.
"On January 14, 2013, the shareholders of Uranium One Inc. ("U1") approved a transaction whereby ARMZ Uranium Holding Co. ("ARMZ"), an affiliate of a Russian state-owned uranium mining company, will take U1 private. This transaction could divert Kazakh production to Russia and further limit the global availability of uranium. Russia itself has 33 reactors currently in operation, ten more under construction, and 44 planned or proposed.... the timing and nature of this transaction may signal a market bottom for uranium.
"Based on these factors, Energy Fuels believes the market will see a modest strengthening of the uranium spot price by the end of 2013 with accelerated strengthening expected into 2014. However, in the short-term, the Company believes the spot price will remain in the low $40 range, and possibly dropping below $40, before a recovery begins...."