URÁN – cena dosiahla $120/lb

Hoci cena uránu za posledné 4 roky vzrástla 10-násobne a len od decembra 2006 o 57%, rast sa týmto ešte nezastavuje.

TradeTech increased uranium spot prices to an all-time record of $120 per pound in anticipation of today's startup of futures trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The June contract hit $140/lb in its first day, with January 2008 U308 trading at $150.50/lb, raising the question of whether futures will trace the price of uranium or lead a life of their own.

Uranium prices have risen about 10-fold in the last 4 years, already up $41 or 57% since the end of December. Spot uranium prices climbed from $85/lb in late February to $95/lb in late March, surged to $113 on April 9 and today by another $7.

The spokesperson said the contract is basically a bet on the price. Utilities can engage the futures market to hedge the risk of rising prices, while “financial types” could be willing to enter the market for quick gains. Hedge funds already hold about 15-20 million pounds of supply, equivalent to 10%.

Jay Taylor, editor of J Taylor's Energy & Energy Tech Stocks, previously estimated there will be a more than a 100-million-pound shortfall of uranium to meet utility company needs during 2005-2009 because of these problems.

“Because nuclear power utility companies have no available fuel substitutes and because even at $100 plus uranium per pound the cost of uranium compared to other fuels is still cheap, utility companies will continue to bid the price of for uranium until new supplies begin to come on to the market from new mines entering production,” he said.

According to the World Nuclear Association, about 16% of the world's electricity came from 440 nuclear reactors last year. There are currently 20 plants under construction with plans for 72 more in Russia, China, India and Japan. In the U.S., 16 companies have submitted proposals for 25 new plants.

China aims to build a strategic uranium reserve in the coming years. Over the next 10 years, China will construct as many as three new nuclear power plants each year, resulting in increased demand for nuclear fuels of up to five times current consumption, the China News Service said.

Stockpiles from Russia and the U.S. amassed for nuclear weapons have made up the difference in supply thus far. However, Russia has indicated that it will not renew its uranium agreement to supply the market with its stockpiles after 2013 and the U.S. plans to slow its uranium sales this year considerably.

Taylor said he did not see an end to higher uranium prices anytime soon, with some forecasters predicting $500/lb.

“At present, very few people in the industry think $100 uranium is a sufficiently high price to keep new nuclear plants from being planned and constructed,” Taylor concluded.

Source: DailyR


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