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Key factors affecting the uranium price outlook

In this article we take a look at some of the key supply and demand considerations affecting the uranium price and its outlook, including the most recent influence of the Russia Ukraine crisis.

Uranium price surges in the first weeks of March 2022

The uranium price continues to rally, impacted by consequences of the ongoing war between Russia and the Ukraine.

The below monthly chart of uranium (from 2000 to current) shows the dollar price per pound (LB) of the chemical element which is currently trading at its highest levels since May 2011. While off its highs for the month, the price of uranium has jumped more than 17% in the first 15 days of March 2022.

What is uranium used for?

Uranium is primarily used to power nuclear reactors and create electrical energy.

Why is the uranium price rallying at present?

The ongoing war between Russia and the Ukraine looks to disrupt trade of the nuclear element. In addition to possible supply headwinds, there has been a growing societal demand for nuclear power as oil, coal and gas prices elevate and the world looks to diversify away from fossil fuels as a source of energy.

It should be noted that the US, while having banned imports of oil and other energies from Russia, have not yet imposed a ban uranium from the country (as of 15 March 2022).

Which countries use the most uranium?

Ironically it is the US that consumes the most Uranium, followed by China, France then Russia.

The below graphic from Statista.com highlights uranium consumption per metric ton by country.

Which country produces the most uranium?

While Ukraine and Russia fall within the top ten uranium producers in the world, it is Russia’s ally Kazakhstan which is by far the largest exporter of the commodity.

The World Nuclear Association has reported that in 2020, Kazakhstan produced around 41% of the global uranium supply. The next largest exporting nations of uranium are Canada and Australia who accounted for roughly 13% and 8% respectively of global supply in 2020.

Which companies are the top producers of uranium?

The below graphic from Statista.com shows the leading uranium producing companies based on production (metric tons) in 2020.

KazAtomProm, listed on the London Stock Exchanges (LSE) is the largest uranium producing company globally, accounting for 24% of world production in 2020, with its primary operations in Kazakhstan.

Orano and Uranium One each accounted for around 9% of total production in 2020.

Orano, is now a private company, although was previously listed as Areva on the Euronext Stock Exchange, Paris.

Uranium One is wholly owned indirectly by Rosatom, the Russian state-owned nuclear corporation.

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