Bitter to have approached the situation
of the petroleum and the long-term natural
gas here is a small study on the situation of the uranium (soon I'll
see the coal).
The gas and the coal follow the increase of the price for the petroleum, what's about uranium?
- The uranium serves to product some electricity in nuclear power reactor, world demand in electricity is more and more important. It is for that reason that there is most nuclear power reactor.
- There are 18 countries producer of uranium in the world, 52 % of the production of 2003 is produced in Canada and 30 % is produced in Australia.
The first four producers of uranium product 56 % of the world production, and the first two represent 33 of the world production.
- Disarmament should answer between and 10 in 12 % of the demand in the 10 to 15 years to come.
- There are not big mineng of uranium which opens, it there are only closed, only one very sharp increase in the price for the uranium can boost investment to open of new appearances mining.
- In 2003 the biggest countries producing of uranium are: Canada (10 457 tons), Australia ( 7572 tons), Kazakhstan (3300 tons), Niger ( 3143 ), Russia (3150 tons), Nanibia (2036 tons), Uzbekistan (1770 tons), USA (846 tons), Ukraine (800 tons), South Africa ( 824 ), China ( 750 ).
- There are 440 nuclear reactors in the world in 32 countries (we can add 24 in construction in 2005, 40 in project and 75 to propose), it is China which has the most important program of construction of nuclear power station to answer his lack of electricity.
-In 2003 there was 92 million pounds of uranium of produced, what makes that 51 % of the world demand.
- Small theoretical calculations:
In 2003, there were 440 nuclear power reactor in the world which needed 68 357 tons of ores of uranium, what makes average 155 tons of uranium a year and by nuclear power reactor.
There is 24 reactor in construction in the world, 24*155 = 3720 tons of uranium a year.
There are 40 reactors in projects in the world 40*155 = 6200 tons a year.
There are 73 reactors which are proposing to the construction 73*155 = 11315 tons of uranium a year. So there are 21 235 tons of uranium in more in the years to come, what makes an increase of the order of 30 %. This is only theoretical and absolutely not in precision, but allows to have an order of height of the future demand.
- The demand of uranium of 2004 is of 66 658 tons ( 170 000 000 books(pounds)) and production should again cover only 50 % of the demand. Demand is superior to the offer since 1984, this deficit exists for 20 years and the strategic stocks seem not more managed to cover deficit.
- There are not stock exchange of the uranium, price negotiates by contract. There is 15 % of the market of the uranium which negotiates in the short run with contracts less twelve months and 85 % which negotiates in the long run with contracts from 2 to 10 years, but generally contracts are from 3 to 5 years.
Demand should grow from 1 to 2 % year in the years to come.
- Distance between the offer and demand is controlled since10 a years by the strategic sale of stocks, the exhaustion of these stock should make gone up durably the prices for the pound of uranium.
- The price of the uranium is 23 dollars and it had bottom in 6 dollars the pound of uranium. The price for the uranium went out of a 20 years old horizontal canal which had a support in 6 dollars and a resistance in 16 dollars. The exit of this canal is very positive and promises a beautiful increase. In spite of the doubling of price the uranium is still in the middle of the rates of 1978 which are in 43 dollars the pound.
- The price for the pound of uranium should easily approach its ancient summits in the zone of 43 dollars in the years to come.
In the long tern the price for the uranium is going to know a sharp increase for several reasons:
- Offer: numerous years between the increase in prices of the uranium and the opening of the new mines of uranium is needed.
- Demand: demand is going to increase because of the big number of nuclear power reactor in construction.
- Gap between offer and demand of uranium is very old and stocks are going to end.
- The increase of the price for the petroleum incites to turn to the other types of energies (coal, gas and uranium).
- Demand in electricity should continue to increase in the next years, especially in China.
- The problems of climatic reheating incite countries to build nuclear power reactor.
To summarize the uranium as the petroleum and the natural gas be going to have their price which increases in the years to come, even reasons are identical : increase of the demand and decline of the offer.
Dr Thomas Chaize