U.S. Energy Information Administration - EIA - Independent Statistics and Analysis
Nuclear & Uranium
Uranium Marketing Annual Report
With Data for 2014 | Release Date: May 13, 2015 | Next Release Date: May 2016 | 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 53 million pounds U3O8e (equivalent1) of deliveries from U.S. suppliers and foreign suppliers during 2014, at a weighted-average price of $46.16 per pound U3O8e. The 2014 total of 53 million pounds U3O8e decreased 7% compared with the 2013 total of 57 million pounds U3O8e. The 2014 weighted-average price of $46.16 per pound U3O8e decreased 11% compared with the 2013 weighted-average price of $51.99 per pound U3O8e.
Six percent of the 53 million pounds U3O8e delivered in 2014 was U.S.-origin uranium at a weighted-average price of $48.11 per pound. Foreign-origin uranium accounted for the remaining 94% of deliveries at a weighted-average price of $46.03 per pound. Uranium originating in Kazakhstan, Russia and Uzbekistan accounted for 39% of the 53 million pounds. Australian-origin and Canadian-origin uranium together accounted for 38%. The remaining 17% originated from Brazil, China, Czech Republic, Malawi, Namibia, Niger, South Africa, Ukraine, and United Kingdom.
COOs purchased uranium of three material types for 2014 deliveries from 34 sellers, one more than in 2013. Uranium concentrate was 55% of the 53 million pounds U3O8e delivered in 2014. Natural UF6 was 33% and enriched UF6 was 12%. During 2014, 27% of the uranium was purchased under spot contracts at a weighted-average price of $36.64 per pound. The remaining 73% was purchased under long-term contracts at a weighted-average price of $49.73 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 2014, COOs signed 69 new purchase contracts with deliveries in 2014 of 12 million pounds U3O8e at a weighted-average price of $34.83 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 2014, the maximum uranium deliveries for 2015 through 2024 under existing purchase contracts for COOs totaled 197 million pounds U3O8e. Also as of the end of 2014, unfilled uranium market requirements for 2015 through 2024 totaled 283 million pounds U3O8e. These contracted deliveries and unfilled market requirements combined represent the maximum anticipated market requirements of 480 million pounds U3O8e over the ten-year period for COOs.
Uranium feed, enrichment services, uranium loaded
In 2014, COOs delivered 42 million pounds U3O8e of natural uranium feed to U.S. and foreign enrichers. Forty-seven percent of the feed was delivered to U.S. enrichment suppliers and the remaining 53% was delivered to foreign enrichment suppliers. Thirteen million separative work units (SWU)2 were purchased under enrichment services contracts from 11 sellers in 2014, one more than in 2013. The average price paid by the COOs for the 13 million SWU was $140.75 per SWU in 2014, compared with the 2013 average price of $142.22 per SWU. In 2014, the U.S.-origin SWU share was 29% and foreign-origin SWU accounted for the remaining 71%. Russian-origin SWU was 24% of the total. Germany, Netherlands, and the United Kingdom had an aggregate share of 41%. Chinese-origin SWU was 5% of the total.
Uranium in fuel assemblies loaded into U.S. civilian nuclear power reactors during 2014 contained 50 million pounds U3O8e, compared with 43 million pounds U3O8e loaded during 2013. Six percent of the uranium loaded during 2014 was U.S.-origin uranium, and 94% 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 59 million pounds U3O8e in 2014, and the weighted-average price was $44.11 per pound U3O8e. Also, U.S. suppliers and COOs sold uranium to foreign suppliers. Together, foreign sales totaled 20 million pounds U3O8e in 2014, and the weighted-average price was $35.69 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 135 million pounds U3O8e as of the end of 2014. Commercial uranium inventories owned at the end of 2014 by COOs totaled 116 million pounds U3O8e, an increase of 3% from year-end 2013. Uranium inventories owned by U.S. brokers and traders were 6 million pounds U3O8e. U.S. converter, enrichers, fabricators and producers owned 13 million pounds U3O8e of inventories at the end of 2014.
1Uranium quantities are expressed in the unit of measure U3O8e (equivalent). U3O8e is uranium oxide (or uranium concentrate) and the equivalent uranium-component of uranium hexafluoride (UF6) and enriched uranium.
2Separative 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), whereV(x) is the "value function," defined as V(x) = (1 - 2x) 1n((1 - x)/x).