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USA

World Nuclear Association Symposium

Essays from UxC's Uranium Market Outlook

Date Title/Description
Q1
2017
The Maturing Nature of Kazakh Uranium Production
This quarter’s essay, “The Maturing Nature of Kazakh Uranium,” addresses Kazatomprom’s recent decision to reduce Kazakh uranium production and its impact on the market today and into the future. The essay also traces how Kazatomprom has slowly shifted from being largely an inelastic producer to one that is more elastic and attuned to market developments.
Q4
2016
Canada’s Future Uranium Mines
This quarter’s essay, “Canada’s Future Uranium Mines,” provides a detailed look at the recent exploration swell throughout the Athabasca Basin in northern Saskatche-wan. A handful of the region’s most highly prospective uranium exploration pro-jects are evaluated to determine which deposits could potentially prove to be the re-gion’s mines of tomorrow.
Q3
2016
Forward Prices and Today’s Market
This quarter’s essay, “Forward Prices and Today’s Market,” examines UxC’s 3- and 5-year forward price indicators, the construction of the forward price curve and the interrelationship of UxC’s published prices with the curve, how forward prices relate to other price information, and why the emergence of the forward market and resulting forward price curve has been such an important development for the uranium market.
Q2
2016
China’s Domestic Uranium Industry
This quarter’s essay, “China’s Domestic Uranium Industry,” examines China’s domestic production capabilities and the role that country’s domestic resources will play in meeting the country’s rapidly expanding commercial nuclear power program. Additionally, the essay will discuss the role of overseas uranium resources and international trade in meeting China’s expanding reactor requirements.
Q1
2016
The Role of Uranium Production Costs
This quarter’s essay, “The Role of Uranium Production Costs,” discusses a wide range of factors impacting worldwide uranium production costs, as well as the usefulness of production costs as they relate to uranium prices, particularly in an environment where inventories continue to meet a significant portion of future demand at a significant discount to marginal production costs.
Q4
2015
Moving Toward a More “Rational” Market
This quarter’s essay, Moving Toward a More “Rational” Market discusses how the uranium market is now better able to absorb excess inventories and supply capability with the advent of mid-term contracting and the development of the forward price curve, along with the implications for price formation. In doing this, it compares today’s market for uranium with that of ten years ago and with today’s enrichment market.
Q3
2015
U-PRICE Model®: Projection of Ux LT U3O8 Price
This quarter’s essay, “U-PRICE Model®: Projection of Ux LT U3O8 Price” introduces a submodel of the U-Price model that focuses on projecting the long-term base price (Ux LT U3O8 Price) included in long-term uranium contracts through 2030.
Q2
2015
The Estimated Impact of Recycling on the U3O8 Market
This quarter’s essay, “The Estimated Impact of Recycling on the U3O8 Market” aims to quantify the impact that world recycling programs have on the natural uranium market, which is done by modeling the recycling programs at the reactor cycle level in the UxC Requirements Mode (URM) and calculating the amount of U3O8 displaced by the use of MOX and enriched reprocessed uranium (ERU).
Q1
2015
Uranium Production Cutbacks and Delays
This quarter’s essay, “Uranium Production Cutbacks and Delays” highlights the production cuts/delays that have occurred over the last few years and analyzes whether the extent of these events have been enough to bring the market into greater equilibrium given the extent of the global uranium demand reduction since the Fukushima accident.
Q4
2014
Development of the UxC U-PRICE™ Model
This quarter’s essay, “Development of the UxC U-PRICE™ Model” discusses the development of UxC’s new econometrically-based model of the uranium market, which accounts for key factors influencing the market and better simulates uranium prices and related market variables.
Q3
2014
Ten Years Later: A Dramatically Changed Market
This quarter’s essay, “Ten Years Later: A Dramatically Changed Market” looks at how the uranium market has changes in terms of supply, demand, and price information/market operation over the past ten years, along with the implications of this going forward.
Q2
2014
End of the HEU Agreement & New Market Fundamentals
This quarter’s essay, “End of the HEU Agreement & New Market Fundamentals” estimates how much uranium is derived on an annual basis via underfeeding and tails re-enrichment from Russia’s excess SWU capacity following the end of the HEU Agreement and in the post-Fukushima market.
Q1
2014
Niger Uranium
This quarter’s essay, “Niger Uranium” analyzes Niger’s current operating and potential future uranium projects, while also examining the issues impacting the contractual relationship between AREVA and Niger’s government as both sides seek a more favorable ten-year mining contract.
Q4
2013
Is $35 the new $10?
This quarter’s essay, “Is $35 the new $10” analyzes whether the spot price has hit a new valley following the Fukushima accident similar to that experienced in the 1990s when the spot price hovered around the $10 level following the Chernobyl accident in 1986.
Q3
2013
Australia’s Uranium Future
This quarter’s essay, “Australia’s Uranium Future” analyzes Australia’s past, present, and future role as a global uranium supplier with an expressed emphasis on the various policies that govern the nation’s uranium mining industry.
Q2
2013
Substituting U & SWU in the Nuclear Fuel Cycle
This quarter’s essay, “Substituting U & SWU in the Nuclear Fuel Cycle” examines the bounds of substitutability between uranium and enrichment services, and establishes the most likely range for operating tails assays for the 2014 through 2030 period.
Q1
2013
U.S. Government Excess Uranium Inventory Disposition
This quarter’s essay, “U.S. Government Excess Uranium Inventory Disposition” examines the various forms of excess uranium inventory held by the U.S. Department of Energy’s and forecasts its disposition plans through 2030.
Q4
2012
Market Segmentation and Price Reporting
This quarter’s essay, “Market Segmentation and Price Reporting” examines how the uranium market is divided into segments, and how this segmentation is reflected in price reporting. The essay notes that this segmentation is dynamic, and thus changes over time, with the most recent changes being the tightening of the spot market’s time horizon and emergence of the “mid-term” market. Issues that arise given the different time dimensions of the market and how reported prices are used are discussed.
Q3
2012
Uranium Production in Russia
This quarter’s essay, “Uranium Production in Russia,” closely examines Russia’s domestic uranium mining industry, highlighting its role in meeting the country’s domestic and export requirements. The essay details ARMZ’s operating mines, potential projects, and identifies the significant challenges to future domestic production growth.
Q2
2012
Development & Use of the Forward Curve in Uranium
This quarter’s essay, “Development & Use of the Forward Curve in Uranium,” follows the introduction of the forward price curve, which was developed in conjunction with Armajaro Securities Limited and released in the previous issue of the UMO. The essay details the construction of the forward price curve and discusses its various applications as well as impacts on market activity.
Q1
2012
Producer Consolidation – A New Round
This quarter’s essay, “Producer Consolidation – A New Round,” provides a retrospective on uranium consolidation and looks into the various drivers impacting consolidation today. The essay details recent consolidation that was spurred by a pullback of uranium prices following the Fukushima accident last March and provides a glimpse into how consolidation may evolve in the future.
Q4
2011
The Evolution of Uranium Price Information
This quarter’s essay, “The Evolution of Uranium Price Information,” looks at how uranium price information available to the industry has evolved over time, with the most dramatic changes coming over the past five years. The roles of financial players and commodity-style brokers in prompting these changes are examined. We also discuss in some detail the recent modification of our price definition in light of these changes, and look at potential ways in which price information may evolve in the future.
Q3
2011
Fukushima’s Impact on Uranium Supply
This quarter’s essay, “Fukushima’s Impact on Uranium Supply” analyzes the impact of Japan’s Fukushima accident on nuclear power generation and how this will affect projected uranium supplies, specifically inventories and production. In more detail, the essay highlights changes in UxC’s mid production case scenario since the Fukushima accident, and also discusses how higher-cost uranium projects are likely to be delayed/deferred due to lower world demand and the poor global economic climate.
Q2
2011
Fukushima’s Impact on Uranium Demand
This quarter’s essay, “Fukushima’s Impact on Uranium Demand” analyzes the impact of Japan’s Fukushima accident on nuclear power generation and associated changes to UxC’s three demand scenarios – Base, High, and Low – since the accident. In more detail, the essay evaluates how Fukushima has impacted nuclear utilities on a regional basis, examining changes to countries’ nuclear energy policies and plans.
Q1
2011
U.S. Uranium Production: Past, Present, and Future
This quarter’s essay, “U.S. Uranium Production: Past, Present, and Future” analyzes production of U.S. uranium throughout its history and includes a detailed analysis of all currently operating and near-term U.S. uranium mines. Furthermore, the essay analyzes U.S. uranium production in terms of its future viability, and a breakdown of the issues that face expanded future U.S. production.
Q4
2010
China’s Uranium Supply: Feeding a Growing Tiger
This quarter’s essay, “China’s Uranium Supply: Feeding a Growing Tiger” analyzes all elements of the uranium story in China, including the key demand elements as well as the supply of U3O8, while identifying the future direction China needs to take in order to completely satiate its growing hunger for uranium concen-trates and the impact this will have on the global uranium market.
Q3
2010
The Evolving Price Information Picture
This quarter’s essay, “The Evolving Price Information Picture” looks at additional price information that is now being supplied by the Euratom Supply Agency and the uranium futures market. It also examines the relevance of this information, its relation to existing prices, and the potential to use this information with respect to contract price determination and to combat price volatility.
Q2
2010
Niger – Preparing for 40 More Years?
This quarter’s essay, “Niger – Preparing for 40 More Years?” examines Niger’s history and culture, its mining infrastructure, lasting ties to France’s nuclear program, operating and planned mines, current political situation, and implications of Niger’s uranium production on future prices.
Q1
2010
Uranium Silk Road: Rise of Central Asia in the Uranium Market
This quarter’s essay, “Uranium Silk Road: Rise of Central Asia in the Uranium Market” examines the role of Central Asian production in the uranium market. While Kazakhstan is clearly the most well-known producer in this region, it also includes the former Soviet Republics of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, as well as Mongolia. The essay looks at the potential for uranium production in these countries as well as the competing interest in Central Asian projects by China, South Korea, Japan, and Russia.
Q4
2009
Uranium versus Thorium
This quarter’s essay, “Uranium versus Thorium,” examines the future role of uranium and thorium in the fuel cycle. In doing so, it compares and contrasts the characteristics of each fuel type, and discusses the upsides and downsides of each. The essay also looks at the implications of a possible transition to a thorium cycle, and points out the complementary nature of uranium and thorium as fuel for reactors.
Q3
2009
Uranium Politics
This quarter’s essay, “Uranium Politics,” examines the impact of politics on the uranium market by focusing on both historical and recent developments in Kazakhstan, Niger, and Australia. In doing this, we incorporate results from our recent survey of the industry, which sought feedback on reactions to the Kazatomprom management shake-up, along with views on the geopolitical risk associated with uranium producing countries.
Q2
2009
The Long-Term Price in Concept and Practice
This quarter’s essay, “The Long-Term Price in Concept and Practice,” examines UxC’s reporting of the long-term price over the past five years, current challenges, and our approach going forward. Subjects examined include a closer look at the role of long-term prices, the issues associated with using long-term prices as price references in long-term contracts, and a complete overview of how UxC approaches the reporting of these prices.
Q1
2009
Into Africa
This quarter’s essay, “Into Africa,” examines the potential role that uranium production in Africa can play in supporting the nuclear renaissance and in terms of price formation, while assessing the impact that the financial crisis might have on production expansion and briefly reviewing the historical role of African production.
Q4
2008
The Financial Crisis and the Uranium Market
This quarter’s essay, “The Financial Crisis and the Uranium Market,” examines the both the short-term and potential longer-term impact of the world financial crisis on uranium, identifying the variety of ways it can impact the market.
Q3
2008
Dealing with Price Risk in the New Market Environment
This quarter’s essay, “Dealing with Price Risk in the New Market Environment,” examines approaches to address price volatility over the past year following the tremendous price excursion of 2007.
Q2
2008
The Kazakh Phenomenon
This quarter’s essay, “The Kazakh Phenomenon,” examines the tremendous expansion of production in Kazakhstan and the factors behind this expansion, planned growth in future production and potential impediments to this growth, and Kazakhstan’s desire to get involved in other areas of the fuel cycle as part of its expansion strategy.
Q1
2008
Production Plans versus Realities
This quarter’s essay, “Production Plans versus Realities,” looks at the key role that production response plays in price formation, and utilizes the results from regression analysis to project future Eastern and Western production, comparing these projec-tions with ones based on producers’ plans.
Q4
2007
Production Costs and Their Role in Price Formation
This quarter’s essay, “Production Costs and Their Role in Price Formation” details how production costs influence the formation of prices and why a simplistic approach to relating price to costs is likely to either greatly overstate or understate what price should be. It also examines the relationships of current prices to production costs.
Q3
2007
Has Price Peaked?
This quarter’s essay, “Has Price Peaked?” addresses the question of whether the long run of the bull market is over from a number of perspectives, including preliminary results of our market survey, historical trends in price, and observations on what new patterns of price might look like.
Q2
2007
Uranium Futures Contracting in Theory and Practice
This quarter’s essay, “Uranium Futures Trading in Theory and Practice” addresses the introduction of a uranium futures contract, how futures contracts work and what their benefits are, preliminary results of futures trading, other derivatives products in uranium, and implications of futures trading for the market.
Q1
2007
How High Can Price Go? (And What Will Make It Come Back Down?)
This quarter’s essay addresses the prospects for uranium prices in the wake of their doubling last year by examining the forces that led to the reversal of oil prices last year and the reasons behind the price declines following the two previous price booms in uranium.
Q4
2006
Price Expectations and Price Formation
This quarter’s essay, “Price Expectations and Price Formation,” is based on a paper that UxC President Jeff Combs gave at the recent Nuclear Energy Institute International Uranium Seminar in Quebec, and examines the nature of past price expectations and how they have shaped the current market through their effect on supply and demand.
Q3
2006
The Russian Chronicles
This issues essay recounts the various announcements and developments with respect to Russian nuclear fuel and nuclear power – including the decision not to go forward with an HEU-II deal, and discusses what the implications of these may be for the future of the market.
Q2
2006
Shortage or Speculation?
This quarter, the essay, “Shortage or Speculation,” examines the question of whether the recent changes in contracting and approaches to the market reflect a true shortage or more indication of increased speculation surrounding the near-term course of the market.
Q1
2006
Uranium and Nonproliferation Demand
This quarter, the essay, “Uranium and Nonproliferation Demand,” looks at how nonproliferation policies such as the Reliable Fuel Supply concept and the potential for opening up trade with India can affect the nature of the uranium market going forward.
Q4
2005
Another Boom/Bust Cycle?
This quarter, the essay, “Another Boom/Bust Cycle?” looks at the potential for price to turn down dramatically by examining factors that caused the price bust of the late 1970s and comparing these with trends today.
Q3
2005
The Supply Gap and the Role of Junior ‘Mints’
This quarter, the essay, “The Supply Gap and the Role of Junior ‘Mints’” examines junior producers that are positioned to take advantage of the $30 market and fill a portion of the supply void that exists over the next few years and beyond.
Q2
2005
A Matter of Perspective
This quarter, the essay, “A Matter of Perspective,” examines the price increases of the late 1970s and 1995/1996, identifying what caused these increases and the subsequent declines, in order to provide some perspective to the current price excursion.
Q1
2005
What Supply Gap? - A Contrarian View
This quarter, we present an essay that suggests the supply situation might not be as dire as is commonly believed, along with a counter to this line of argument in "What Supply Gap? - A Contrarian View."
Q4
2004
Is Past Prologue for the Uranium Market?
This quarter, we examine whether the historical relationship between price and production has any implications for future price movements, or whether a new paradigm is at work with the growing influence of mega-projects.
Q3
2004
The Awakening Giants and Their Appetite for Uranium
This quarter, we take a look at the impact that China and India may have on the market given their plans to expand the nuclear power programs to meet their increasing energy needs.
Q2
2004
Russia's Changing Role in the Nuclear Fuel Market
In this essay we examine Russia's changing role in the nuclear fuel market that has resulted in such actions as the decision last year to terminate the GNSS contract.
Q1
2004
A Review of World Primary Production
This quarter, we take a look at worldwide uranium production, examining existing and planned uranium projects that will serve to meet utility requirements over the next ten years.
Q4
2003
Changing Market Fundamentals-Implications for Price
In this issue we take a look at the changing market fundamentals in uranium and what this means for future prices. This investigation follows an examination of price movements from a technical perspective in the last issue's essay.
Q3
2003
Uranium Price Patterns Revisited
This quarter, we review the recent rise in price in the context of our earlier (April 2001) essay on examining the uranium market from the standpoint of technical analysis.
Q2
2003
Analyzing Market Impacts of the McArthur River Flood
In this essay we examine the short and potential long-term impact of the McArthur River mine flood.
Q1
2003
Eastern Primary Production
This quarter, we take an in-depth look at the status of uranium production in the Former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe and China, as well as its role in meeting each country's future requirements.
Q4
2002
A Review of Western Primary Production
This quarter, we take an in-depth look at Western primary production and its increasing importance in meeting future requirements.
Q3
2002
The Future of Nuclear Power in Europe - Is the Tide Turning?
In this essay we examine past and current developments and future prospects for nuclear power in Europe
Q2
2002
Russia's Nuclear Power Industry: Prospects and Problems
As a special feature we have asked Oleg Bukharin, an expert in Russian nuclear matters at Princeton University, to review the Russian nuclear power program and examine its future prospects, both home and abroad.
Q1
2002
A Review of Eastern Primary Production
This quarter, we take an in-depth look at the status of uranium production in the Former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe and China, as well as its role in meeting each country's future requirements.
Q4
2001
A Review of Western Primary Production
This quarter, we take an in-depth look at Western primary production and its increasing importance in meeting future requirements.
Q3
2001
The Remarkable Growth in U.S. Uranium Requirements
This quarter, we examine the tremendous growth in U.S. reactor requirements that has occurred without new reactor additions and the prospects for such growth in the future.
Q2
2001
Uranium Price Patterns
An in-depth look at uranium price patterns that describes their importance in discerning future market trends.
Q1
2001
Uranium Production in the FSU - What Happens Now?
A detailed review of production in the Former Soviet Union, the second part of our series on changes in production supply.
Q4
2000
The Evolution of Production Supply
An in-depth look at how production supply has changed over the past year.
Q3
2000
Key Transitions Affecting the Future Market
The second part of our investigation about what is happening to uranium prices.
Q2
2000
What's Happening to Prices?
Analysis of the factors causing the currently depressed uranium prices.
Q1
2000
Current Developments in U.S. Trade Restrictions
An examination of the Sunset Review process, with potential outcomes and market impacts.
Q4
1999
The Evolving Supply Picture and Implications for Price
A review of how world uranium supplies have changed over the recent past.
Q3
1999
The Saga of CIS Trade Restrictions: Past, Present and Future
A review of the history of the CIS trade restrictions and their influence on the market.
Q2
1999
Examining the HEU Feed Deal
Analysis of the Russian HEU feed deal, including its key features and market implications.
Q1
1999
The Pendulum Swings
An examination of the supply developments that occurred during 1998. Over the last half of 1998, the outlook for the market changed dramatically, as production was cut back and inventory sales plans were modified in light of a potential severe oversupply situation that had negative implications for price.
Q4
1998
The Changing Supply and Demand Picture
This quarter, we present our annual review of production plans, inventory supplies, and requirements forecasts in Section 1 - The Changing Supply and Demand Picture. The implications of changes in these projections for the balance between Western production and the demand for this production are also examined in this section.
Q3
1998
Market Impact of USEC Inventory Sales
The U-PRICE uranium market model is used to examine the potential impact on price of USEC uranium sales, based on information released with respect to USEC's public offering.
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