Commodity Calls: Week Ending 1 March 2024

The US’s uranium enrichment industry gets a US$2.7 billion boost, growing lithium demand pulls US and Chile closer, and gold rallies to all-time highs on weak economic data.

Looking for more? Check out this week’s Market Moves and Thematic Spotlight.



  • The US uranium enrichment industry is receiving US$2.7 billion in government funding as the country attempts to separate its renewable supply chain from Russia.1 The funding aims to spark growth within the largely dormant industry by guaranteeing a buyer in the form of the government.2
  • Sweden has announced the launch of an investigation which seeks to abolish the country’s ban on uranium mining.3 The Ministry of Climate and Enterprise will be responsible for the review which it has described as a process “to remove a ban that is not needed”. The ministry further noted that “uranium often occurs together with other metals (anyway)” and “instead of sorting it out and considering it as waste… we need to use the uranium we have”.4
  • Australian uranium-refining technology firm Silex Systems, in coordination with Cameco, have approved plans to double expenditure in its Global Laser Enrichment (GLE) joint venture.5 The new budget of US$54.5 million will allow for the delivery of a demonstration of the SILEX laser uranium enrichment technology in 2024 – which Silex claims will provide ‘much higher enrichment process efficiency’ compared to existing uranium refining techniques.6


  • Cameco, the world’s largest uranium miner by market cap, announced plans to increase production by as much as 33% in 2024.7 The recent rally in uranium prices have, in large part, been driven by supply restraints. Cameco’s elevated projections should help address some of those concerns.

Explore uranium with ATOM.



  • US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has announced intentions to increase the import of transition critical minerals, including lithium, from Chile – the world’s largest producer of the metal.8 Yellen recently wrapped up a visit to the South American nation and upon her return, emphasised the importance of establishing a strong economic relationship “as we accelerate toward a clean energy future”.9
  • Ricardo Ramos, CEO of SQM, one of the largest lithium producers in the world, sees demand for lithium rising by over 20% in the coming year.10


  • Global supply of lithium exceeded demand in 2023, the industry continues to suffer from a glut that has weighed on prices. Lithium’s spot price is down 82% from its peak, and many lithium suppliers have cut both production and staff in response to weak demand.11

Explore lithium with ACDC.



  • A slew of weak US economic data including low manufacturing PMI, higher unemployment, and low consumer sentiment, in combination with easing inflation, has improved the chances of a US Fed rate cut in the near term.12,13,14 Gold prices have historically rallied on lower interest rates. The metal’s price is reflecting those increase rate-cut odds and currently trades at an all-time-high of US$2082.15


  • The US Fed have stated that they lack any clear historical parallel to guide them into 2024 and have pushed back against near-term rate cuts, opting instead for caution.16

Explore physical gold with GOLD.