Uranium prices are expected to welcome a third bull market


As the demand for a global clean energy transition continues to rise, the uranium market is approaching a significant turning point.

As the demand for a global clean energy transition continues to rise, the uranium market is on the cusp of a significant turning point. Analysts point out that due to new lows in global uranium inventories and production challenges, uranium prices are expected to continue rising in the coming years, ushering in what is being termed the "third bull market."

Challenges on the Supply Side

The supply chain of the global uranium market is facing unprecedented challenges. As the world's two largest uranium-producing countries, Kazakhstan and Canada's uranium mining industries are experiencing various difficulties. Particularly in Kazakhstan, the national uranium company Kazatomprom is hampered by a shortage of sulfuric acid, a key chemical for uranium extraction. In response to this issue, Kazatomprom plans to start building a sulfuric acid plant from 2024. Additionally, Canada's Cameco is also unable to meet market demand due to delays in equipment and production expansion plans.

The Impact of the Russia-Ukraine Conflict

Russia is an important supplier of uranium and enriched uranium worldwide, holding about half of the global uranium enrichment capacity. Therefore, the global uranium market is deeply affected by geopolitical events, especially any situation that could interfere with Russia's uranium exports. After tensions escalated between Russia and Ukraine, western utility companies began to reduce uranium imports from Russia and started looking for new supply channels in other regions. This strategic shift further enhanced the global demand for uranium resources, having a significant impact on the supply and demand balance of the entire uranium market.

Drivers of Rising Uranium Prices

Demand in the uranium market is growing sharply. According to data from uranium market data firm UxC, the total amount of uranium contracts signed last year reached 160 million pounds, the highest annual total since 2012. Furthermore, the development cycle of natural uranium mines takes 48 to 60 months, and new mine construction requires higher uranium prices for support, which means that there will not be a significant increase in supply in the short term, and the gap between supply and demand will continue to widen.

Positive Performance of Mining Companies and Funds

This uranium market boom has also led to significant growth in the share prices of related mining companies. For example, Cameco's stock price has risen nearly 300% since December 2020, while Uranium Energy Corp's share price has increased even more significantly, by 416%. At the same time, funds that hold physical uranium assets, such as Sprott Uranium Miners ETF (URNM), have also shown strong growth momentum over the past year, with stock prices climbing nearly 300%.

Sprott investment funds play a significant role in the market. Their large financing activities and active purchasing of spot uranium directly drive the rise in uranium prices. In particular, Sprott Physical Uranium Trust and Yellow Cake have risen by 74% and 58% respectively in the past 12 months.

Looking Ahead

With the continued widening of the gap between uranium mine supply and demand and the decline of secondary supply inventories, a turnaround in the natural uranium industry is imminent. Industry players and financial institutions have begun to snatch up spot uranium, anticipating a more tense situation in the uranium market. Especially active performance by investment funds like Sprott signals that uranium prices may reach new peaks. With the world's demand for uranium resources constantly rising, the future trend of uranium prices is worth continuous attention.

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The market carries risks, and investment should be cautious. This article does not constitute personal investment advice and has not taken into account individual users' specific investment goals, financial situations, or needs. Users should consider whether any opinions, viewpoints, or conclusions in this article are suitable for their particular circumstances. Investing based on this is at one's own responsibility.

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