Uranium Market Poised for Recovery in 2010 -- TradeTech Year-End Spot Price Settles at US$44.50

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A declining trend in uranium prices continued into 2009, and TradeTech’s uranium spot price dropped to US$44.50 per pound U3O8 on December 31, 2009. However, buyers are expected to return to the market during the first quarter of 2010, as a number of utilities can justify discretionary purchases and buying from Asia is expected to remain strong.

A declining trend in uranium prices that began in 2008 continued into 2009, as TradeTech’s uranium spot price fell 15 percent from US$52.00 per pound uranium oxide (U3O8) at year-end 2008 to $44.50 on December 31, 2009.

The uranium market attempted to recover from the effects of a global financial crisis that began in late 2008, and the spot price strengthened by mid-year. However, this trend was short-lived as several sellers competed aggressively to conclude sales and the spot price fell again in the second half of the year.

In early October, the spot price climbed briefly as BHP Billiton reported damage to the main shaft of its Olympic Dam that would take months to repair. The company declared force majeure on certain uranium deliveries, which brought a number of buyers, primarily traders and financial entities, to the market and the price rose to $50.00 per pound U3O8. By December, however, the spot price retreated as the US Department of Energy’s sale of uranium to fund cleanup of the Portsmouth uranium enrichment facility overshadowed the market.

The drop in spot prices in the second half of 2009 caused lower expectations of market participants, especially among buyers. “The psychological effect of decreasing prices led many utilities to relax purchasing plans and turn away attractive offers in the expectation of further price declines. While 2009 was a relatively active year for term contracting, a substantial number of utilities, particularly in the USA, continue to wait in hopes of catching the market at the absolute bottom before securing supplies for the longer term,” said TradeTech President Treva Klingbiel.

“Buyers are expected to return to the market during the first quarter of 2010 as a number of utilities have indicated they can justify discretionary purchases for inventory at current price levels,” Klingbiel added. In addition, buying from Asia is expected to remain strong as India and China, in particular, forge ahead with plans for expanded nuclear energy programs to meet rising energy demand.

About TradeTech
TradeTech publishes the Nuclear Market Review (NMR) each Friday evening, which reports the weekly uranium spot market price, uranium trading activity, industry news, and market data. The monthly edition of the NMR, published on the last day of each month, includes TradeTech Market Values (Exchange Value, UF6 Value, Loan Rate, Conversion Value, SWU Value, and Transaction Value) and Mid- and Long-Term Price Indicators, as well as analysis related to these price determinations, supply/demand information, and industry news. TradeTech also publishes The Nuclear Review, a monthly trade publication dedicated to the international uranium and nuclear energy industry.

TradeTech, and its predecessor companies–NUEXCO Information Services, CONCORD Information Services, and CONCORD Trading Company–has supported the uranium and nuclear fuel cycle industry for more than 40 years, and is widely recognized for its expertise in trading activities and its comprehensive knowledge of the technical, economic, and political factors affecting this industry. TradeTech provides expert market consulting, participates in the buying and selling of uranium products and services, and maintains an extensive information database on these industries.

For general and media inquiries contact:
TradeTech
Denver Tech Center
7887 E. Belleview Avenue
Suite 888
Englewood, CO 80111
Phone: 303.573.3530
Fax: 303.573.3531
E-mail: info(at)tradetech(dot)com
Web site: http://www.uranium.info

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