Canada Tops U.S. Uranium Deliveries in 2023 – EIA Report

In a recent report released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), Canada emerged as the leading source of uranium deliveries to the United States in 2023, accounting for 27% of the total. The annual Uranium Marketing Report, which provides detailed data on uranium purchases, prices, contracts, and inventories, highlighted significant trends and changes in the U.S. uranium market over the past year.

The report showed that owners and operators of U.S. civilian nuclear power reactors (COOs) purchased 51.6 million pounds of uranium oxide equivalent (U3O8e) in 2023, marking a 27% increase from the 40.5 million pounds purchased in 2022. The average price also rose by 12%, reaching $43.80 per pound U3O8e, the highest since 2015​.

It indicates that besides Canada, significant uranium deliveries came from Australia and Kazakhstan, each contributing 22% of the total. Russia provided 12%, while Uzbekistan accounted for 10%. The U.S. itself supplied 5%, maintaining the same level as in 2022​.

In 2023, 15% of uranium deliveries were purchased under spot contracts at an average price of $51.64 per pound. The remaining 85% were acquired through long-term contracts, with an average price of $42.42 per pound. COOs signed 26 new purchase contracts for uranium, totaling 5.5 million pounds at an average price of $61.93 per pound​.

The report also provided insights into future uranium deliveries and market requirements. COOs projected a maximum of 249 million pounds of U3O8e for deliveries from 2024 to 2033 under existing contracts. Additionally, unfilled market requirements for the same period totaled 184 million pounds U3O8e, combining to a total anticipated market requirement of 433 million pounds over the next decade​.

U.S. and foreign enrichers received 34 million pounds of natural uranium feed in 2023. U.S. enrichment suppliers accounted for 39% of this feed, while foreign suppliers handled 61%. The COOs also purchased 15 million separative work units (SWU) of enrichment services at an average price of $106.97 per SWU, a 6% increase from the previous year​.

At the end of 2023, U.S. commercial uranium inventories totaled 152 million pounds U3O8e, a 6% rise from 2022. COOs held 110 million pounds, up 7% from the previous year, while inventories owned by U.S. suppliers reached 42.1 million pounds, a 3% increase​.

This report comes on the heels of calls for Canada to begin building a full nuclear supply chain. Dr. Esam Hussein, a nuclear engineer and a professor emeritus at both the University of Regina and the University of New Brunswick., wrote in a recent memo: “To date, the only full supply chain available in Canada is for natural uranium that fuels CANDU reactors. There appear to be no explicit policies yet in Canada on enriching uranium.”

Of the 47 pressurized heavy water reactors worldwide, 19 are operational within Canada, providing a significant portion of the nation’s energy grid. These reactors, strategically positioned across sites like Pickering, Bruce, Darlington, and Point Lepreau, NB, rely on a robust supply chain for natural uranium. Despite Canada’s status as a leading uranium producer, the majority of this resource is exported, underscoring the need for a renewed focus on domestic nuclear infrastructure​.

Information for this story was found via the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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