More Good News For Uranium: China's Nuclear Energy Build-Out
February 28, 2013 11:13 AM EST
By Mike Kapsch, Investment U Research
Thursday, February 14, 2013
It's no secret uranium prices have plummeted since the Great Recession and Japan's Fukushima disaster. In 2007, a pound of U3O8 was worth as much as US$136. Today, the same amount sells for just US$43.88.
Yet, of all the places you could invest this year, I'd say one of the best will be the nuclear industry... Especially in miners that export uranium to China. Why?
The reason is two-fold. Despite all the controversy surrounding it, global demand for yellowcake and nuclear energy is actually higher today than it was before Japan's nuclear meltdown in 2011. And when it comes to China, there's simply no other country like it, expanding as much, or as quickly, into nuclear energy.
China's Yellowcake Motive
Within the next 10 to 15 years, China is set to surpass the United States as the largest uranium-consuming nation in the world.
As Mining.com reports, "As of November 2012, China had 15 operating reactors (11.9 GWe of installed capacity), and 26 reactors were under construction (27.6 GWe), that amounts to about 42% of reactors under construction worldwide. Additionally, 51 reactors were planned (57.5 GWe) with its building due to start within three years, and many more than 100 units are proposed, which are likely to be commissioned before 2030."
As you can see from the chart, the United States currently has just over 100 operating nuclear reactors. Before 2030, China plans to more than double that figure. If we assume the average nuclear reactor costs around US$4 billion to construct, and that China will follow through constructing its proposed reactors, this energy build-out could be upwards of US$708 billion. It's a massive undertaking, the likes of which have never occurred before in the nuclear industry. But the reason it's happening isn't all good.
China is the most polluted country in the world. In Beijing, air pollution is so bad it hit hazardous levels 20 days in January. Other reports state you can actually see the pollution from outer space. Things are so bad, in fact, residents in Beijing right now can receive US$19,000 in government subsidies when they purchase an electric vehicle.
Considering China uses nearly as much coal each year as the rest of the world combined, it makes sense that air pollution there is becoming its greatest health threat. Inevitably, China isn't investing in nuclear energy because it wants to, but because it has to. It may not be great news for the nation. But for investors, this scenario creates a number of opportunities to potentially make money as China works to reduce its pollution levels.
A Blend of Risk and Reward
There are two reasons I especially like uranium miners who export to China.
First, China's uranium imports are steadily increasing. In 2010 alone, they more than tripled. By 2020, the World Nuclear Association predicts that number will increase another 15%. Around 95% of China's uranium imports are from Kazakhstan, Namibia, Australia and Uzbekistan. But starting next year, even Canada is preparing to export uranium to China for the first time ever.
Second, unlike other commodities, like rare earth metals, China does not have a monopoly over the uranium market. Around the globe, the biggest reserves by country are in Kazakhstan, Canada and Australia.
Third, Canadian and Australian miners, such as Cameco (NYSE: CCJ) and BHP Billiton ((BHP)), are free to operate how and where they please. They aren't subject to the same restrictions uranium miners in China are bound to. Namely, they're not tools of the government. They're diversified, experienced companies that operate all over the world.
Only time will tell if 2013 will be a banner year for uranium prices and miners. But things are heading in the right direction. Shares of CCJ and BHP are up 18% and 8% in the last three months alone. Not to mention, the spot price of uranium is up over US$2 since October 2012. There are likely plenty more gains up ahead. And right now is an opportune time to get ready for the ride.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher. The above story can be read on the website www.investmentU.com. The direct link is: http://www.investmentu.com/2013/February/uranium-chinas-nuclear-energy-build-out.html
Nothing published by Investment U should be considered personalized investment advice. Although our employees may answer your general customer service questions, they are not licensed under securities laws to address your particular investment situation. No communication by our employees to you should be deemed as personalized investment advice. We expressly forbid our writers from having a financial interest in any security recommended to our readers. All of our employees and agents must wait 24 hours after on-line publication or 72 hours after the mailing of printed-only publication prior to following an initial recommendation. Any investments recommended by Investment U should be made only after consulting with your investment advisor and only after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.
Views expressed are not by association FNArena's (see our disclaimer).
If you are reading this story through a third party distribution channel and you cannot see charts included, we apologise, but technical limitations are to blame.
Find out why FNArena subscribers like the service so much: "Your Feedback (Thank You)" - Warning this story contains unashamedly positive feedback on the service provided.
FN Arena is building the future of financial news reporting at www.fnarena.com . Our daily news reports can be trialed at no cost and with no obligations. Simply sign up and get a feel for what we are trying to achieve.
Subscribers and trialists should read our terms and conditions, available on the website.
All material published by FN Arena is the copyright of the publisher, unless otherwise stated. Reproduction in whole or in part is not permitted without written permission of the publisher.
Join the Conversation
- Black Friday And Cyber Monday Sale 2014: AT&T's Cricket Wireless Offers Discounts On Lumia 1320, Galaxy S5, S4 And HTC Desire 510
- ISIS Kidnaps Iraqi Defence Minister’s Family, Executes Female Parliament Candidates
- '$2,000 For Sex'—Pleads Unlucky-in-Love Guy On OKCupid
- Target’s ‘Surprise Doorbusters’ Black Friday 2014 Deals On TV Sets, Entertainment Centres, DVD Players And More
- Google Joins Forces with GoPro Inc with New Google Maps Focusing on Destination
- Lumia Update Will Come Soon Confirms Microsoft
- T-Mobile’s Black Friday 2014 Deals On Apple iPhone 6, Samsung Galaxy Note 4/Edge, Nexus 6, HTC One M8, LG G3, iPad Air 2 And Mini 3