Uranium price is melting up

The price of uranium has hit an eight-year high after being in the doldrums for much of the past decade

Uranium prices have hit an eight-year high. The nuclear fuel was trading above $44 a pound this week for the first time since May 2013. The launch of a new investment trust by Canadian asset manager Sprott has spurred renewed interest in the commodity.

Shares in uranium-linked stocks, including UK-listed Yellow Cake and Aura Energy, have surged, says Will Horner in The Wall Street Journal. Investors are piling in. On WallStreetBets, the Reddit internet forum known for catalysing the surge in GameStop shares earlier this year, Canadian uranium business Cameco is “the third-most-discussed company”. 

The buying craze has become detached from fundamentals, says Jinjoo Lee in the same paper. Don’t expect to jump in and make a quick buck. Still, on a longer-term view there are reasons to be bullish. Uranium has been in the doldrums for much of the past decade. The 2011 Fukushima disaster cast a cloud over the market, says Myra Saefong in Barron’s.

Now the push to cut carbon emissions is brightening the outlook. China is betting big on the technology: “Over 60% of the new plants commissioned over the past decade” worldwide have been in the country. New reactors will continue to come online over the next few years, driving a steady increase in uranium demand. In 2019 The World Nuclear Association forecast “a 26% increase in uranium demand from 2020 to 2030”. 

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