No commodity has disappointed more than uranium. But don’t let that put you off. Now is the perfect time to become a uranium buyer. (I’m assuming that you’re not the head of state of either North Korea or Iran!)
Prices hit $136 in 2007 and then began a long pullback to around $40. They bottomed in April and have since rebounded to the $50 per pound level.
Can they go up from here? Based on market fundamentals, yes… and soon.
Nuclear power contributes 16 percent of world energy demand. In the U.S., it contributes 20 percent. And with 30 nuclear plants under construction and another 38 in pre-construction stages, with dozens more planned, nuclear’s contribution is sure to rise.
Meanwhile, there won’t be enough uranium to go around. The International Atomic Energy Agency recently said that Russia and the U.S. may cover only 5 percent of world demand by 2015.
The current shortage in production is being covered by uranium from dismantled weapons the U.S. has been getting from Russia. The government-created company USEC down-blends this uranium for use in nuclear power plants. But that agreement with Russia goes away in 2013.
The global nuclear power plant construction program isn’t going anywhere, though. With China and India leading the way, nuclear’s resurrection shouldn’t be ignored by investors.
The entire nuclear industry is revving up, including uranium exploration and mining. (It takes eight to 12 years to build a mine and get the stuff out of the ground.) One of the bigger companies that has been mining uranium for a long time is Cameco (CCJ). Its stock should grow right along with the sector itself.