Published on Friday January 06 2012 (AEST)
DENVER, CO, Jan 05, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- The year 2011 was a tumultuous period as uncertainty clouded the uranium market and TradeTech's U3O8 Spot Price Indicator (bloomberg:TDTC) ended the year at US$52.00 per pound U3O8, amid record spot volume as the market continued to stabilize following the crisis at a Japanese nuclear power facility in March.
Early in the year the uranium market showed signs of stability as the spot price followed a strengthening trend that began in 2010, when the market was recovering from a global financial crisis that began in late 2008. TradeTech's Weekly U3O8 Spot Price Indicator had climbed to US$73.00 per pound U3O8 on February 4. However, the spot price settled at $67.75 on March 11, when Japan's Fukushima nuclear station was severely damaged by a devastating earthquake and tsunami.
As the crisis continued to unfold, buyers and sellers considered potential short- and long-term impacts of the events in Japan while the uranium market tried to regain stability. On August 26, the spot price fell to the lowest point of the year -- $48.85 -- before rebounding to $56.25 by mid November, when traders became more active and purchased the majority of material sold that month. As 2011 came to a close, spot market demand remained primarily discretionary and TradeTech's U3O8 Spot Price Indicator was $52.00 per pound U3O8, the company noted in its December 31 Nuclear Market Review.
Despite price volatility affecting the spot uranium market throughout much of 2011, higher spot volume prevailed to set a new record of 45.8 million pounds U3O8, surpassing spot transaction volume of 42.8 million pounds U3O8 in 2010, the highest level recorded in two decades.
"Fourth quarter sales of more than 9 million pounds brought 2011 spot market volume to a new record level, as traders, uranium producers, and financial entities attempted to place material before year end," TradeTech President Treva E. Klingbiel said.
"Presently, spot uranium supply remains extremely thin as most sellers hold firm to offer prices and wait for increased demand during the first quarter of 2012. Demand is expected to gain momentum in January, with price volatility returning to the market as activity increases," Klingbiel added.