Uranium prices and demand should continue their upward trajectory through the remainder of 2023, according to a recent industry report. Analysts attribute the positive momentum to sustained uranium supply deficits. With inventory levels low and global nuclear capacity expanding, the structurally undersupplied market continues tightening.
In the report, analysts increased their uranium demand estimates through 2030 and 2035. Total nuclear capacity is projected to grow at a 3.6% compound annual rate through 2030. This translates into a 30% rise in annual uranium requirements. New reactor construction in China and India, coupled with plant life extensions in the West, drive the demand growth.
While primary mine output increases, risks remain regarding achieving targeted production rates. Ongoing supply chain constraints and labor shortages could hinder bringing new capacity online. Even current mine supply faces challenges like coup d’etats, restart delays, and reduced guidance. Analysts emphasize that permitting, technical, and financing risks persist for essential greenfield projects.
With demand climbing and supply challenged, the uranium market will likely stay in a significant deficit for years. Spot prices have already hit 12-year highs of around US$70 per pound. Analysts boosted their long-term outlook to US$75, reflecting inflationary impacts on production costs. They expect an effective Western premium price of US$80 for most miners.
In fact, earlier this month, Katusa Research released a report on uranium, saying, "Today, more nuclear reactors are being built than any year since 1992. All of that has increased demand for uranium, but it’s also accidentally created something much bigger: a source of demand That NEVER EXISTED Before . . . It’s one that's going to completely change how the uranium market works. The prospect of unquenchable global thirst for uranium has invited speculators into the uranium market."
These dynamics prompted analysts in the above report to recommend adding leverage by increasing positions in uranium developers and miners.
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