Global uranium prices hit their highest level in more than 15 years at the end of October, according to COMEX data, with analysts attributing the sharp rise to a number of factors, including geopolitical tensions.
Uranium futures for November delivery jumped to $74.50 a pound on Monday, the data showed. Since the beginning of the year, the price of the radioactive metal has risen by 55%.
Resurgent demand for uranium, which is widely used for nuclear power, is putting pressure on prices in view of limited global reserves. Analysts report renewed global interest in nuclear power amid declining energy supplies from Russia.
Adding to these concerns is Canada’s Cameco, the world’s second-largest uranium producer, which has cut its 2023 production forecast. Another major producer, France’s Orano, is also facing difficulties due to the recent coup in Niger, which represents 4 % of world uranium production. The African country was the second largest supplier of uranium to the EU last year as Russian energy supplies fell.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) earlier predicted a surge in global demand for critical minerals, including uranium, due to renewed interest in nuclear power.
A recent report by the World Nuclear Association predicts a nearly 80% increase in nuclear capacity and a roughly doubling of uranium demand by 2040.