A recently released annual report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration highlights that a huge majority of the uranium that was used last year by operators and owners of private citizen nuclear power reactors in the U.S. was imported.
More than 30% of the uranium came from Canada and Australia with an additional roughly 50% being purchased from Uzbekistan, Russia and Kazakhstan.
Altogether, US plant operators and owners purchased over 48 million pounds of uranium compound last year, at the weighted-average price (“WAVG”) of $33.27/pound of the compound.
While Kazakhstan made up slightly over 21% in total deliveries, Canada made up 22.4% of deliveries.
The 2020 Uranium Market Annual Report notes that while the weighted-average price had decreased by 7%, and this was its lowest figure in over a decade, the combined purchases for the same period were slightly higher than the total amount of uranium compound bought in 2019, which was slightly over 48 million pounds.
While over 75% of the uranium delivered was bought under long-term contracts at $34.74/pound, the other 24% was bound under spot contracts at the WAVG of $28.70 a pound.
The EIA states that for the period 2021-2030, unfilled uranium market requirements make up 188 million pounds of uranium compound, while peak uranium deliveries for the same period under current purchase contracts at last year’s end add up to 194 million pounds of uranium compound.
The body notes that both the unfilled market requirements and contracted deliveries represent the expected market requirement of more than 380 million pounds of uranium compound for civilian operators and owners for the next decade.
At the end of last year, total commercial inventories in the United States, inclusive of the ones possessed by traders, producers, fabricators, enrichers, converters, brokers and civilian operators and owners, made up roughly 120 million pounds of uranium compound, which was a decrease of 6% from the previous year’s record.
Additionally, commercial uranium inventories possessed by last year’s end came down to about 107 million pounds of uranium compound, which was a 5% decline from the numbers recorded in 2019. Inventories owned by traders, brokers, producers, fabricators, enrichers and converters at the end of the year amounted to 16 million pounds of uranium compound, which was a 9% decline, in comparison with figures from 2019.
The Uranium Production Report, which was released in May, also revealed that at the end of last year, Smith Ranch-Highland and Lost Creek, which are in-situ leach projects and the White Mesa uranium mill which is found in Utah, were operating.
The fact that U.S. civilian operators are still looking abroad for uranium supplies means that local producers like Energy Fuels Inc. (NYSE American: UUUU) (TSX: EFR) still have a huge market to supply, and that can only be good for their future.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Energy Fuels Inc. (NYSE American: UUUU) (TSX: EFR) are available in the company’s newsroom at http://ibn.fm/UUUU
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