U.S. Energy Information Administration - EIA - Independent Statistics and Analysis
Nuclear & Uranium
Uranium Marketing Annual Report
With Data for 2013 | Release Date: May 12, 2014 | Next Release Date: May 2015 | full report
Uranium purchases and prices
Owners and operators of U.S. civilian nuclear power reactors ("civilian owner/operators" or "COOs") purchased a total of 57 million pounds U3O8e (equivalent1) of deliveries from U.S. suppliers and foreign suppliers during 2013, at a weighted-average price of $51.99 per pound U3O8e. The 2013 total of 57 million pounds U3O8e decreased slightly compared with the 2012 total of 58 million pounds U3O8e. The 2013 weighted-average price of $51.99 per pound U3O8e decreased 5% compared with the 2012 weighted-average price of $54.99 per pound U3O8e.
Seventeen percent of the 57 million pounds U3O8e delivered in 2013 was U.S.-origin uranium at a weighted-average price of $56.37 per pound. Foreign-origin uranium accounted for the remaining 83% of deliveries at a weighted-average price of $51.13 per pound. Uranium originating in Kazakhstan, Russia and Uzbekistan accounted for 35% of the 57 million pounds. Australian-origin and Canadian-origin uranium together accounted for 32%. The remaining 16% originated from Brazil, China, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Malawi, Namibia, Niger, Portugal, and South Africa.
COOs purchased uranium of three material types for 2013 deliveries from 33 sellers, one more than in 2012. Uranium concentrate was 55% of the 57 million pounds U3O8e delivered in 2013. Natural UF6 was 33% and enriched UF6 was 12%. During 2013, 20% of the uranium was purchased under spot contracts at a weighted-average price of $43.83 per pound. The remaining 80% was purchased under long-term contracts at a weighted-average price of $54.00 per pound. Spot contracts are contracts with a one-time uranium delivery (usually) for the entire contract and the delivery is to occur within one year of contract execution (signed date). Long-term contracts are contracts with one or more uranium deliveries to occur after a year following the contract execution (signed date) and as such may reflect some agreements of short and medium terms as well as longer term.
New and future uranium contracts
In 2013, COOs signed 58 new purchase contracts with deliveries in 2013 of 8 million pounds U3O8e at a weighted-average price of $39.63 per pound. Fifty-five were new spot contracts of 7 million pounds at a weighted-average price of $39.35 per pound. Three were new long-term contracts of less than 1 million pounds at a weighted-average price of $43.20 per pound.
COOs report minimum and maximum quantities of future deliveries under contract, to allow for the option of either decreasing or increasing quantities. As of the end of 2013, the maximum uranium deliveries for 2014 through 2023 under existing purchase contracts for COOs totaled 223 million pounds U3O8e. Also as of the end of 2013, unfilled uranium market requirements for 2014 through 2023 totaled 264 million pounds U3O8e. These contracted deliveries and unfilled market requirements combined represent the maximum anticipated market requirements of 487 million pounds U3O8e over the ten-year period for COOs.
Uranium feed, enrichment services, uranium loaded
In 2013, COOs delivered 47 million pounds U3O8e of natural uranium feed to U.S. and foreign enrichers. Fifty-nine percent of the feed was delivered to U.S. enrichment suppliers and the remaining 41% was delivered to foreign enrichment suppliers. Twelve million separative work units (SWU)2 were purchased under enrichment services contracts from 10 sellers in 2013, one less than in 2012. The average price paid by the COOs for the 12 million SWU was $142.22 per SWU in 2013, compared with the 2012 average price of $141.36 per SWU. In 2013, the U.S.-origin SWU share was 31% and foreign-origin SWU accounted for the remaining 69%. Russian-origin SWU was 20% of the total. Germany, Netherlands, and the United Kingdom had an aggregate share of 45%.
Uranium in fuel assemblies loaded into U.S. civilian nuclear power reactors during 2013 contained 43 million pounds U3O8e, compared with 49 million pounds U3O8e loaded during 2012. Eight percent of the uranium loaded during 2013 was U.S.-origin uranium, and 92% was foreign-origin uranium.
Uranium foreign purchases/sales and inventories
U.S. suppliers (brokers, converters, enrichers, fabricators, producers, and traders) and COOs purchase uranium each year from foreign suppliers. Together, foreign purchases totaled 57 million pounds U3O8e in 2013, and the weighted-average price was $48.24 per pound U3O8e. Also, U.S. suppliers and COOs sold uranium to foreign suppliers. Together, foreign sales totaled 19 million pounds U3O8e in 2013, and the weighted-average price was $42.75 per pound U3O8e.
Year-end commercial uranium inventories represent ownership of uranium in different stages of the nuclear fuel cycle (in-process for conversion, enrichment, or fabrication) at domestic or foreign nuclear fuel facilities. Total U.S. commercial inventories (including inventories owned by COOs, U.S. brokers, converter, enrichers, fabricators, producers, and traders) was 134 million pounds U3O8e as of the end of 2013. Commercial uranium inventories owned at the end of 2013 by COOs totaled 113 million pounds U3O8e, an increase of 16% from year-end 2012. Uranium inventories owned by U.S. brokers and traders were 8 million pounds U3O8e. U.S. converter, enrichers, fabricators and producers owned 13 million pounds U3O8e of inventories at the end of 2013.
1 Uranium quantities are expressed in the unit of measure U3O8e (equivalent). U3O8e is uranium oxide (or uranium concentrate) and the equivalent uranium-component of hexafluoride (UF6) and enriched uranium.
2 Separative work unit (SWU): The standard measure of enrichment services. The effort expended in separating a mass F of feed of assay xf into a mass P of product assay xp and waste of mass W and assay xw is expressed in terms of the number of separative work units needed, given by the expression SWU = WV(xw) + PV(xp) - FV(xf), where V(x) is the "value function," defined as V(x) = (1 - 2x) 1n((1 - x)/x).