The price of uranium has hit a new high as the energy crisis in Europe continues to fuel bullish bets on nuclear energy’s future. Uranium, which is also known as yellowcake, has increased by 7% since last month to reach $50 per pound. This price was last observed when the prices of many commodities increased last spring, fueled by supply concerns.
Data from UxC shows that the last time yellowcake traded at such levels was a decade ago, without taking into account the spike triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine earlier this year. UxC is a nuclear fuel market research and analysis company. Many participants in the market expect uranium’s price to go even higher, with a forecast from Bank of America expecting it to hit $70/pound in 2023.
Publicly listed uranium mining companies have also benefited from investor optimism, with Cameco’s shares increasing by about 30%. This comes as sentiment towards uranium improves in other regions of the world. For instance, Japan announced its plans to speed up the restart of reactors in late August. The country also revealed that it was exploring the construction of new plants since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.
Earlier this month, California also announced its decision to extend the operations of its last nuclear plant. Soon after this, Germany put its nuclear plants on standby in the event that they would be needed in the short term.
Per Jander, WMC energy director of nuclear and renewables, stated that California and Germany were both coming around to nuclear despite being among the most negative jurisdictions globally on the matter.
In 2021, the price of uranium rose by more than 30%, as investors bet on nuclear energy becoming a principal feature of the electrification of the global economy as the world shifted from the use of fossil fuels. Nuclear energy does not produce carbon emissions while generating consistent baseload power, which is why the European Union classified it as green energy earlier this year.
The surge observed in the metal’s price last year marked a notable turnaround, especially after the fallout the mining industry endured following the Fukushima disaster. Even with improving sentiment pushing uranium’s price higher, the metal is still susceptible to a squeeze on supplies from Moscow. Russia is still the biggest builder of new nuclear plants around the globe. Despite making up only 5% of global uranium production, the nation is responsible for more than two-fifths of active enrichment capacity globally.
For effective nuclear fuel, uranium has to be converted and enriched from its raw form as supplied by extraction companies such as Energy Fuels Inc. (NYSE American: UUUU) (TSX: EFR).
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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