I’ll just post this first, as it’s what likely interests everyone the most.
Uranium market update
It has been almost five months since the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant was damaged by the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan. As Japan continues to manage the effects of these events on its nuclear reactor fleet, the future role of nuclear energy in that country is also being discussed. While there are reports of strong support for nuclear from various industry groups in Japan, public sentiment is reportedly more cautious.
Other countries around the world have now had time to do a preliminary review of their nuclear programs. With very few exceptions, we see these countries continuing their commitment to nuclear energy. India, China, France, Russia, South Korea, the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, and almost every other country with a nuclear program are maintaining nuclear as a part of their energy mix.
There are a few exceptions, Germany being the most notable. Germany, which has 17 nuclear reactors, representing 5% of the global generating capacity, has decided to revert to its previous phase out policy. Currently, eight of its reactors (about 2% of global generating capacity) are shutdown; we do not expect these reactors to restart. Germany has indicated it plans to shut down the remaining nine reactors by 2022.
Despite these changes, the nuclear industry is growing. Other previously non-nuclear countries are considering adding nuclear to their energy programs in the future. Saudi Arabia, for example, recently announced its plan to build 16 reactors by 2030. Its plan includes building the first two reactors over the next 10 years and adding two new reactors every year thereafter. The Saudis are targeting nuclear power to provide 20% of their electricity needs in the future. Saudi Arabia has signed nuclear co-operation agreements with France and Argentina, and has announced plans to sign agreements with China and South Korea in the near future. We have not incorporated this announcement from Saudi Arabia into our supply and demand outlook below.
We have reviewed our supply and demand outlook from the first quarter and revised our estimates to reflect Germany’s decision to move away from nuclear and the current status of Japan’s nuclear fleet. As a result, we expect:
— over the next 10 years, world uranium demand to decline to about 2.1
billion pounds, compared to our previous estimate of 2.2 billion pounds
(about a 3% decline)
— in 2020, annual world consumption to decrease to about 225 million
pounds, about a 5 million pound reduction from our previous estimate.
This represents an average annual growth rate of about 3%.
— about 85 net new reactors by 2020 compared to our previous estimate of
— global uranium consumption in 2011 to decrease to about 175 million
pounds, a 3% reduction from our previous estimate of about 180 million
— global uranium production to be about 145 million pounds in 2011,
unchanged from our previous estimate
— world consumption of UF6 and UO2 conversion services to decrease to
about 65 million kgU in 2011 compared to our previous estimate of about
70 million kgU
Despite the expected decreases in our estimates noted above, we continue to expect annual global consumption to exceed annual global mine production by a significant margin over the next 10 years, a situation that has existed since about 1986. We expect the new supply required to meet global uranium demand to be about 270 million pounds over the next 10 years (our previous estimate was 320 million pounds).
About 70% of global uranium supply over the next 10 years is expected to come from mines currently in commercial operation, less than 20% is expected to come from existing secondary supply sources and the remainder is expected to come from new sources of supply (unchanged from our previous estimate).
With our extensive portfolio of long-term sales contracts, we are in the enviable position of being heavily committed until 2016. As a result, we expect the impact of changes in the global supply and demand outlook on us to be significantly less.
Despite this, the president/CEO went on to say that the slowdown in his company was not likely do to the uranium market, so much as cyclical factors; he believes the company will continue to perform within guidance.
SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN–(Marketwire -08/04/11)- ALL AMOUNTS ARE STATED IN CDN $ (UNLESS NOTED)
Cameco (TSX: CCO – News) (NYSE: CCJ – News) today reported its consolidated financial and operating results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2011 in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).
“Through the second quarter of 2011 our operations demonstrated reliable production, keeping us on track for the year. At Cigar Lake, we continue to make significant progress,” said president and CEO Tim Gitzel. “We also made changes to Cameco’s management team to ensure we have the right mix of experience and energy to execute on our strategy to double annual uranium production by 2018.
“As we anticipated, this quarter’s financial results were lower due to variability in the timing of uranium deliveries. We expect our sales will be heavily weighted to the second half of the year and anticipate stronger results in the third and fourth quarters.
“With our extensive portfolio of long-term sales contracts, we are in the enviable position of being heavily committed until 2016, which provides us with financial stability as we pursue our corporate growth strategy.
“Over the longer term, we remain confident in the strong fundamentals of the uranium market. World demand for safe, clean, reliable, affordable energy continues to grow and the need for nuclear as part of the world’s energy mix remains as compelling as ever.”