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U3O8 spot price falls on weak demand, concerns about Cameco buying

Houston β€” The spot price of uranium for February delivery has fallen moderately for a second straight week in the near absence of demand and sales by some traders at slightly lower prices following Cameco's announcement that it will dial back its U3O8 purchases this year from what it estimated in November, according to market sources.

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The U3O8 daily spot price was about $28.65/lb Tuesday, compared with $28.85/lb February 12 and $28.90/lb February 5, market sources said.

Platts assessed the spot price of uranium at $29.35/lb at 1 pm EST February 15, based on the mean of assessed activity for U3O8 delivered over the next 12 months. Platts assessed the price at $29.50/lb February 8.

Prices of uranium for delivery in the first four months of the year declined compared with last week. Platts assessed a rise in the price for May delivery and a moderate contango in prices for delivery from June through January.

"There is a sense that there will be a little less material bought by Cameco this year than it announced in November, so if I have material to sell, I'd better be a bit more aggressive and lower my offer prices," an intermediary said in a February 19 interview.

The intermediary and a producer, interviewed separately February 19, said the tradable value for 100,000 U3O8 for February delivery to any location is $28.65/lb.

A fuel buyer interviewed the same day said he was aware of a trader offer at $28.80/lb for 100,000 lb U3O8 for March delivery in the US at $28.80/lb.

Cameco announced February 11 that it expects to buy 7 million-9 million lb in 2019, compared with 9 million-11 million lb it announced in November.

"That's not a huge reduction, but it means that Cameco now is unlikely to be in the market every month seeking 1 million lb [U3O8], which removes some of the expected upward price lift," a market source said in a February 19 interview. "Some traders have been seeking to sell small amounts of material in the last week at discounts to the spot" price, he said. -- Jim Ostroff, Washington,

-- Edited by Valarie Jackson,