US uranium buyers consider options as Trump mulls trade action

US-based uranium market participants are anxiously awaiting a decision from President Donald Trump on whether to take protectionist action on imports of the element that fuels nuclear reactors. Trump is weighing a decision on a January 2018 petition by US uranium producers Energy Fuels and Ur-Energy that asked him to require US nuclear plant operators to purchase 25% of their uranium annually from domestic producers, citing national security concerns of relying on uranium imported from the CIS nations. The decision is due July 15, although market sources have speculated the administration’s action may be delayed. To guard against any sudden imposition of quotas or tariffs, potentially as soon as mid-July, companies have been buying and inquiring about buying uranium that is not mined in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan or Russia, market sources have reported. The interest, and a slight premium emerging for uranium from non-former Soviet republics, may presage a bifurcated market for uranium, the fuel for the world’s nuclear reactors, some market participants have said. “People are trying to second-guess [Trump’s trade action,] or at least minimize their risks from it,” said Scott Lawrence, managing director of Numerco, a London-based uranium broker, during a presentation at the World Nuclear Fuel Markets… continue reading

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