With prices set to double by 2018, we've seen the bottom of the uranium market, and the negative sentiment that has followed this resource around despite strong fundamentals, is starting to change.
Billionaire investors sense it, and they're always the first to anticipate change and take advantage of the rally before it becomes a reality. The turning point is where all the money is made, and there are plenty of indications that the uranium recovery is already underway.
It's been a very tough few years for uranium. But it now looks like we've reached the bottom, and the future demand equation says there's nowhere to go but up—significantly up.
Uranium analyst David Talbot of Dundee Capital Markets is forecasting 6 percent compound annual demand growth through 2020, which is enough, he says, to "kick-start" uranium prices up to and beyond 2007 levels. Morningstar analyst David Wang predicts prices will double within the next two years.
Mining Weekly expects "the period from 2017-2020 to be a landmark period for the nuclear sector and uranium stocks, as the global operating nuclear reactor fleet expands."
"It's impossible to find another natural resource that is so fundamentally necessary and yet has carried such negative sentiment as uranium. The market has been skewed by negative sentiments that ignore the supply and demand fundamentals," says Paul D. Gray, President and CEO of Zadar Ventures Ltd., a North American uranium and lithium explorer.
But the toxicity levels have dissipated, and nuclear energy is rebounding as a cleaner power source with next generation safeguards. The fundamentals are again ruling the day, and this will be the key year for uranium," Gray told Oilprice.com.
Why Sentiment is Changing: Born in Chernobyl, Raised in Japan
The negative sentiment on uranium was largely made in Japan. The 2011 disaster at Fukushima created an irrational disconnect between sentiment and uranium fundamentals.
Now that enough time has passed since Fukushima, this negative sentiment is losing steam as it appears that Japan has succeeded in bringing some of its reactors back online – four of its reactors have already restarted operations. So the world is refocusing on what are arguably brilliant fundamentals, which actually have been there all along.
First and foremost, the world is building more nuclear reactors right now than ever before, despite Fukushima. A total of 65 new reactors are already going up, another 165 are planned and yet another 331 proposed.
Powering all of these developments will require an impressive amount of uranium. Right now, existing nuclear reactors use 174 million pounds of uranium every year. That will increase by a dramatic one-fifth with the new reactors under construction. But in the meantime, uranium producers have reduced output due to market prices and put caps on expansion. As a result, supplies are dwindling.
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