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Only 17% of U.S. uranium purchases from domestic sources – EIA

The 2013 weighted-average price for U308 of $51.99/lb decreased 5% from 2012 weighted- average price of $54.99/lb, and new contracts signed are at much lower prices.

Owners and operators of U.S. civilian nuclear power reactors purchased a total of 57 million pounds of uranium oxide in deliveries from U.S. suppliers and foreign suppliers last year, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said.

In the 2013 Uranium Marketing Report made public by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) Monday, the agency said 17% of the 57 million pounds of uranium delivered last year originated in the U.S. at a weighted average price of $56.37 per pound.

Foreign-mined uranium accounted for the remaining 83% of the deliveries at a weighted-average price of $51.13 per pound. Foreign purchases totaled 57 million pounds U308 at the weighted-average price $48.24/lb by U.S. suppliers and civilian owner/operators (COOs).

Uranium mined in Kazakhstan, Russia and Uzbekistan accounted for 35% of the 57 million pounds purchased by U.S. energy companies. Australian and Canadian-mined uranium together accounted for 32%, said the EIA. The remaining 16% originated from Brazil, China, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Malawi, Namibia, Niger, Portugal, and South Africa.

U.S. civilian owner/operators purchased three forms of uranium for 2013 deliveries from 33 sellers, one more than in 2012. Uranium concentrate accounted for 55% of the 57 million pounds delivered last year. Natural Uranium Hexafluoride (UF6) was 33% and enriched UF6 was 12%, said the EIA report.

Last year 20% of the uranium purchased for U.S. delivery was bought under spot contracts at a weighted- average price of $43.83 per pound, while the remaining 80% was purchased under long-term contracts at a weighted-average price of $54 per pound.

In 2013 U.S. civilian owner/operators COOs) signed 58 new purchase contracts with 2013 deliveries of 8 million pounds of U308 at a weighted-average price of $39.63/lb. Of these 55 were new spot contracts of 7 million pounds at a price of $39.95/lb. Three were new long-term contracts of less than one million pounds at a price of $43.35/lb.

At the end of last year, maximum uranium deliveries for 2014-2023 under existing purchase contracts totaled 223 million pounds. Also at the end of 2013, unfilled uranium market requirements for 2014-2023 totaled 264 million pounds of U308.

“These contracted deliveries and unfilled market requirements combined represent the maximum anticipated market requirements of 487 million pounds U308 over the 10-year period for COOs,” said the EIA report.

Total U.S. commercial uranium inventories (including those owned by COOs, U.S. brokers, converter, enrichers, fabricators, productions, and traders) were 134 million pounds of U308 at year-end 2013. Commercial uranium inventories totaled 113 pounds U308 at the end of the year, while uranium inventories owned by U.S. brokers and traders were eight million pounds. U.S. converter, enrichers, fabricators and production owned 13 million pounds of U308 at the end of 2013.

 

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