The U3O8 long-term price rose to US$61.50/lb from US$60.00/lb, or by 2.5%.
This marks the first increase for the long-term price of U3O8 since January 2011, when global optimism for nuclear energy jumped the long-term price from US$65.00/lb to US$73.00/lb, or by 12.3%. The momentum was short lived as the events at Fukushima caused the long-term price to steadily decline since that point to US$60.00/lb.
While the spot U3O8 price is more closely watched, the long-term price is more relevant to uranium suppliers and utilities as the large majority of transactions are conducted at this reference point.
We view this increase as a first sign of life for the post-Fukushima uranium industry. Likely caused by the positive news from the Japanese town of Ohi, where the local government voted 11-1 in favour of the restart of the town’s two nuclear reactors in May. Many view the restart of some of Japan’s 50 idled nuclear reactors as a major positive catalyst for uranium.