Uranium price hits 15-year high as major miner warns of shortage

In a surprise announcement, the price of uranium hit its highest level in 15 years, unsettling global markets and raising concerns about the future of nuclear power production.

Sulfuric acid supply problems

Leading uranium miner Kazatomprom said an active search for alternative sources of sulfuric acid supplies could impact its production. In its statement, the company expressed difficulties in achieving production levels of 90% compared to subsoil use contract levels. The issue could impact forecasts for next year and affect planned construction work.

Steady rise in prices for radioactive metal

The price of the radioactive metal has more than doubled in 2023, reaching $97.45 per pound today. However, this growth is still far from the triple-digit figures achieved in 2007 and the impact of the Fukushima disaster in Japan in 2011.

Global nuclear campaign and Chinese influence

The price hike coincides with a pledge by 24 countries, including the United States, Japan, Canada, Britain and France, to triple nuclear power capacity by 2050. China, a world leader in building nuclear power plants, plans to double its capacity to 100 gigawatts by the end of this decade. Although not tied to this commitment, the Asian country leads the way with 22 of the 58 plants under construction worldwide.

US legislation and its impact on uranium prices

Recent legislation in the United States may affect uranium prices before other factors. In an effort to reduce dependence on Russia, which supplies more than a fifth of the uranium, Congress passed the bill in December. The project requires the United States to obtain some of its nuclear fuel from domestic sources, which could further put pressure on the uranium market.

Bank forecasts: may exceed $100

In separate research notes, Bank of America and Berenberg Bank warned that persistent tightness in the uranium market could push prices above $100 in the coming days. This forecast underscores the urgency and seriousness of the situation in the uranium market.

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