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U3O8 daily spot price rises 50 cents from one week ago to $24/lb

Houston — The daily spot price of uranium Tuesday was $24 a pound, up 50 cents from July 17. The increase was seen in part as stemming from the US Department of Commerce's July 18 announcement that it had initiated an investigation into uranium imports that was requested by two US uranium producers, who also asked that the Trump administration require US reactor operators buy 25% of their material from domestic producers, according to price reporting company TradeTech.

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The U3O8 daily spot price was $23.50/lb July 17-18, remained at $23.75/lb July 19 through Monday, and rose to $24/lb Tuesday, according to price reporting company TradeTech.

The spot price rose by 25 cents/lb the day after Commerce said July 18 it was beginning an investigation into national security implications of US utilities' dependence on imported uranium. Two US uranium producers requested that the government order US utilities to buy 25% of their material domestically.

Under provisions of the 1962 trade law that created Section 232, Commerce has 270 days to investigate uranium imports and submit a report to President Donald Trump on its findings and any recommended actions. The president then would have 90 days to act on recommendations and to make any adjustments, if needed, to the imports.

TradeTech, in its Friday report for the week that ended that day, reported a weekly spot price at $23.75/lb, up 50 cents from July 13.

Price reporter Ux Consulting Monday reported the weekly spot price at $23.80/lb, up 45 cents from July 16.

TradeTech, in its Friday report, said the weekly price increase "reflects renewed buyer interest, which arrived" following Commerce's announcement that it had launched the Section 232 investigation.

Two producers interviewed July 20 said they did not foresee the launch of Commerce's investigation as an impetus for rising U3O8 prices, noting final action by the president could be a year away.

One producer said that day that quotas or tariffs could depress the global price, because global producers would sell less to the US.

An industry source, interviewed Friday, said the acquisition by Yellow Cake PLC, a new uranium investment company, of 8 million lb of U3O8 from Kazatomprom July 5 has a more direct bearing on prices, noting, "it sets the market up for potential strengthening."

Ux reported a Broker Average Price of $24.12/lb Tuesday, up 31 cents from Monday. It said the bid-offer spread Tuesday was $23.75/lb-$24.50/lb, with the bid up 25 cents and the offer up 38 cents from the previous day.

The BAP is based on information from Evolution Markets and Numerco.

The Platts Nuclear Fuel range for the week is $23.50/lb-$24.30/lb. --Jim Ostroff, Washington, james.ostroff@spglobal.com

--Edited by Valarie Jackson, valarie.jackson@spglobal.com