ETF Express: Week Ending 15 September 2023
- Uranium ETFs (ATOM, URNM) topped the performance charts last week as spot uranium prices surged to their highest level in 12 years.1 Spurred on by increasing global demand and supply complications in Niger and Russia, uranium is approaching prices not seen since before the Fukushima disaster in 2011.2
- Technology ETFs (CLDD, EDOC, HACK, RBTZ, SEMI, TECH) fell across the board as markets jittered heading into the Fed’s September meeting. Traders may be hedging bets despite a general consensus that rates will not change until November.3
- There were $322.5 million in reported inflows for the week, and only $65.1 million in outflows, marking a week of net inflows for the Australian ETF industry.
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Global Supply Crunch Drives Uranium to 12-Year High
Uranium & Nuclear Energy
Uranium hit its highest price since 2011 last week, peaking at $65.50 per pound.4 The rally is largely due to a global supply crisis which has been exacerbated by the below factors.
- Sanctioned Russian Uranium: Russia currently mines roughly 6% of the global raw uranium output, most of which has become unavailable as nations cut ties in support of Ukraine.5 However, as Russia also operates approximately 40% of global uranium conversion plants and 50% the of enrichment facilities necessary for the production of uranium fuel, energy facilities are struggling to find untethered supplies.6
- Coup in Niger: Niger, Africa’s second-largest uranium producer, is undergoing political instability as General Abdourahmane Tchiani declared himself the new leader of the country after seizing elected president Mohamed Bazoum.7 The ongoing coup d’état puts roughly 4% of the global uranium supply at risk, further amplifying supply risks.8
- Cameco Lowers Projections: Cameco, the world’s second-largest uranium producer by volume, announced last week that full-year forecasts for production had been lowered from 18 million to 16.3 million pounds due to complications at its Cigar Lake mine and Key Lake mills.9
Supply aside, global demand looks to continue increasing at a rapid pace, with the World Nuclear Association forecasting demand to reach 130,000 tonnes by 2040, almost double the 65,650 tonnes seen in 2023.10
Explore the uranium opportunity with ATOM.
- The outlook on precious metals may improve after the ECB signalled the conclusion of its monetary tightening after a 25-bps increase.11
- The World Platinum Investment Council predicts platinum global inventories will only cover around five months’ worth of demand by the end of 2023, and more than half of that sum will be held in China.12
- The World Platinum Investment Council has also raised its platinum deficit prediction for the entire year of 2023 to 28,500 kg – the biggest deficit ever.13
- Retail sales and producer prices for the US came in hotter than anticipated, supporting the Fed’s decision to maintain its hawkish stance, putting pressure on precious metal prices.14
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- The US added another 300,000 barrels of crude oil to its strategic reserves.15
- According to Citi, OPEC+ may extend or deepen cuts in 2024 as oil supply balances remain elevated.
- China’s crude imports jumped 21% to 52.8 million tons in August from the prior month.16
- Contrary to estimates gathered by a Reuters poll of a 1.9-million-barrel reduction, EIA data revealed US crude stocks actually increased by 4 million barrels last week.17
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- Canada’s Cameco, the second-largest uranium miner in the world, decreased its output projection for 2023 due to complications at its Cigar Lake mine and Key Lake mill.18
- Rwanda’s atomic energy board says it has signed a deal with Dual Fluid Energy, a Canadian German company, in a bid to construct its first ever small-scale nuclear reactor and test nuclear fission as a solution to low-carbon energy demand.19
- China’s continued struggle with its economy could weigh on the world’s largest nuclear power pipeline as government spending on infrastructure may decline.
Explore uranium with ATOM.
Forecasts are not guaranteed, and undue reliance should not be placed on them. This information is based on views held by Global X or referenced sources as at 15th September 2023.