Uranium Price Falls For First Time in Four Years

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Spot prices for uranium oxide concentrate dropped US$3 to US$135 a pound last week, Denver-based TradeTech said June 30 in its weekly Nuclear Market Review. Prices rose almost 13-fold to a record $138 over the previous 47 months, driven by supply cutbacks and speculation by investment funds.

Uranium prices fell after almost four years of gains as power utilities slowed purchases, industry consulting company TradeTech LLC said.

Spot prices for uranium oxide concentrate dropped US$3 to US$135 a pound last week, Denver-based TradeTech said June 30 in its weekly Nuclear Market Review. Prices rose almost 13-fold to a record $138 over the previous 47 months, driven by supply cutbacks and speculation by investment funds.

The last time monthly prices declined was May 2003, according to TradeTech.

“Prices must come down sooner or later,” said Ossi Koskivirta, nuclear fuel purchase manager at Fortum Oyj, which runs two atomic plants in Finland.

“They`re far above production levels. It`s an unhealthy situation with such high prices.”

Uranium has surged in 40 out of the past 47 months amid resurgent demand for nuclear power as an alternative to energy created from greenhouse-gas forming fossil fuels. Prices spiralled after Cameco Corp., the world`s largest supplier, halted its Cigar Lake project in October because of flooding, removing 10% of projected supply from the market.

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