It’s been just over a month since Kazakhstan announced plans to cut its uranium production by 10 percent, and so far the news has been beneficial for the sector.
The uranium price has surged 30 percent year-to-date and is now at approximately $26 per pound. Given that it hit rock-bottom lows of under $20 in late 2016, the recent boost has been welcomed by market participants.
Experts are calling for that good fortune to continue. In its most recent sector update, Cantor Fitzgerald suggests that the “bottom is in for uranium,” and says that it continues to project a “violent increase in the price of uranium.”
Kazakhstan is not the only factor responsible for uranium’s recent uptick. US President Donald Trump’s “America First” strategy is perceived as beneficial for the industry. Details have not yet been finalized, but there’s been speculation that it will bode well for the nuclear power industry.
“It makes sense in hindsight why Uranium is on a tear,” Howard Lindzon, co-founder of StockTwits, recently wrote. “It is an end of world proxy based on all the chatter from Trump on a nuclear race,” he added.
Similarly, FocusEconomics‘ February 2017 consensus commodities forecast says that Trump’s comments about increasing “the [US] nuclear stockpile” and investing in nuclear energy have helped move the uranium price higher.
Other countries also have plans to invest in nuclear energy, and FocusEconomics believes that as more nuclear reactors come online around the world, excess uranium supply will “ease,” providing even more price support.
In total, over 60 nuclear reactors are currently under construction in 15 countries around the world, while 440 are now operating in 31 countries.
Additionally, South Africa, which holds the only nuclear power station in Africa, is looking to increase its use of nuclear energy while stepping back from coal-fired plants. According to Reuters, close to 30 companies have expressed interest in the country’s plans to build nuclear reactors.
Leigh Curyer, CEO of NexGen Energy (TSX:NXE), recently commented that “nuclear power is undergoing quite a resurgence.” He also said, “[a] lot of countries are recognizing that nuclear power is the baseload supply of electricity that is emissions-free.”
FocusEconomics expects the uranium price to average $29.90 in the fourth quarter of 2017, and is calling for it to average $36.50 in the latter part of 2018. While those periods are still some time away, the uranium outlook is now more promising than it has been for some time.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Jocelyn Aspa, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.