Uranium Rises to Seven-Month High as Energy Commodities Gain
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By Yuriy Humber
June 22 (Bloomberg) — Uranium rose to the highest in seven months as energy commodities gained globally and utilities sought to acquire stakes in companies mining the metal.
Uranium-oxide concentrate for immediate delivery added $3, or 5.8 percent, to $55 a pound, Denver-based pricing service TradeTech LLC said in a report dated June 19. Nine transactions totaling 1.9 million pounds in volume took place last week.
“Uranium has moved up in line with energy commodities” over the last two months, said Glyn Lawcock, head of resources research at UBS AG in Sydney. “The price got beaten up earlier this year because people needed to generate cash, but things have calmed down.”
A two-month run-up in the uranium price has taken the metal needed for nuclear fuel to its highest since November, when some financial investors including the bankrupt Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. sought quick sales. Japan’s Kansai Electric Power Co. said last week it would seek more stakes in uranium mines to secure supplies as competition intensifies among utilities to snap up shares of producers.
Uranium has advanced 36 percent since the week ended April 10, shadowing the 38 percent climb for crude-oil futures traded in New York in the same period. Coal used to fuel power plants had gained 12 percent since April’s close as of the week ended June 12, according to McCloskey Group Ltd. prices from South Africa’s Richards Bay, site of the world’s largest export terminal for the fuel.
Weekly uranium supply and demand was about 4.5 million pounds last week, according to TradeTech, which includes offers to buy as well as actual transactions in its demand calculation.
Mined uranium provides less than two-thirds of the metal needed each year, with the gap made up mostly from U.S. and Russian stockpiles.
To contact the reporter on this story: Yuriy Humber in Moscow at [email protected]
Last Updated: June 22, 2009 06:10 EDT