Thursday, June 23, 2011

U.S. Uranium Market Report



Uranium Purchases and Prices

Owners and operators of U.S. civilian nuclear power reactors ("civilian owner/operators" or "COOs") purchased a total of 47 million pounds U3O8e (equivalent)1 of deliveries from U.S. suppliers and foreign suppliers during 2010, at a weighted-average price of $49.29 per pound U3O8e. The 2010 total of 47 million pounds U3O8e decreased 7 percent compared with the 2009 total of 50 million pounds U3O8e.


Eight percent of the U3O8e delivered in 2010 was U.S.-origin uranium at a weighted-average price of $45.25 per pound. Foreign-origin uranium accounted for the remaining 92 percent of deliveries at a weighted-average price of $49.64 per pound. Australian-origin and Canadian-origin uranium together accounted for 37 percent of the 47 million pounds. Uranium originating in Kazakhstan, Russia and Uzbekistan accounted for 41 percent and the remaining 14 percent originated from Brazil, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Malawi, Namibia, Niger, South Africa, and Ukraine. Owners and operators of U.S. civilian nuclear power reactors purchased uranium for 2010 deliveries from 23 sellers, down from the 29 sellers in 2009.


COOs purchased uranium of several material types. Uranium concentrate was 63 percent of the deliveries in 2010; natural hexafluoride (UF6) and enriched uranium were 37 percent. During 2010, 18 percent of the uranium was purchased under spot contracts at a weighted-average price of $43.99 per pound. The remaining 82 percent was purchased under long-term contracts at a weighted-average price of $50.43 per pound. Spot contracts are contracts with a one-time uranium delivery (usually) for the entire contract and the delivery is to occur within one year of contract execution (signed date). Long-term contracts are contracts with one or more uranium deliveries to occur after a year following the contract execution (signed date) and as such may reflect some agreements of short and medium terms as well as longer term.
Uranium purchased by owners


New and Future Uranium Contracts



In 2010, COOs signed 35 purchase contracts with deliveries in 2010. Thirty-one were new spot contracts with deliveries of 6 million pounds U3O8e in 2010 at a weighted-average price of $43.17 per pound. Four were new long-term contracts with deliveries of less than one million pounds U3O8e in 2010 at a weighted-average price of $43.69 per pound.


As of the end of 2010, the maximum uranium deliveries for 2011 through 2020 under existing purchase contracts for COOs totaled 258 million pounds U3O8e. Also as of the end of 2010, unfilled uranium market requirements for 2011 through 2020 totaled 255 million pounds U3O8e. These contracted deliveries and unfilled market requirements combined represent the maximum anticipated market requirements of 513 million pounds U3O8e over the ten-year period for COOs.

Uranium Feed, Enrichment Services, Uranium Loaded



In 2010, COOs delivered 45 million pounds U3O8e of natural uranium feed to U.S. and foreign enrichers. Fifty-seven percent of the feed was delivered to U.S. enrichment suppliers and the remaining 43 percent was delivered to foreign enrichment suppliers. Fourteen million separative work units (SWU) were purchased under enrichment services contracts from 7 sellers in 2010. The average price paid by the COOs for the 14 million SWU was $136.14 per SWU, a 4-percent increase compared with the 2009 average price of $130.78 per SWU. In 2010, the U.S.-origin SWU share was 16 percent and foreign-origin SWU accounted for the remaining 84 percent. Russian-origin SWU was 37 percent of the total. Germany, Netherlands, and the United Kingdom had an aggregate share of 37 percent.


Uranium in fuel assemblies loaded into U.S. civilian nuclear power reactors during 2010 contained 44 million pounds U3O8e, compared with 49 million pounds U3O8e loaded during 2009. Nine percent of the uranium loaded during 2010 was U.S.-origin uranium, and 91 percent was foreign-origin uranium.
Uranium Loaded into U.S. Civilian Nuclear Reactors



Uranium Foreign Purchases/Sales and Inventories



U.S. suppliers (brokers, converters, enrichers, fabricators, producers, and traders) and COOs purchase uranium each year from foreign suppliers. Foreign purchases totaled 55 million pounds U3O8e in 2010, and the weighted-average price was $47.01 per pound U3O8e. Also, U.S. suppliers and COOs sold uranium to foreign suppliers. Foreign sales totaled 23 million pounds U3O8e in 2010, and the weighted-average price was $42.78 per pound U3O8e.


Year-end commercial uranium inventories represent ownership of uranium in different stages of the nuclear fuel cycle (in-process for conversion, enrichment, or fabrication) at domestic or foreign nuclear fuel facilities. Total U.S. commercial inventories (including inventories owned by COOs, U.S. brokers, converter, enrichers, fabricators, producers, and traders) was 112.3 million pounds U3O8e as of the end of 2010. Commercial uranium inventories owned at the end of 2010 by COOs totaled 86.5 million pounds U3O8e, an increase of 2 percent from year-end 2009. Uranium inventories owned by U.S. brokers and traders were 12.1 million pounds U3O8e. U.S. converter, enrichers, fabricators and producers owned 13.6 million pounds U3O8e of inventories at the end of 2010.
U.S. Uranium Inventories
http://www.eia.gov/uranium/marketing/

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