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Hedge funds betting big on uranium as spot price surges to 16-year highs By Proactive Investors

Hedge funds betting big on uranium as spot price surges to 16-year highs

© Reuters. Hedge funds betting big on uranium as spot price surges to 16-year highs

Hedge funds are stockpiling barrels of raw uranium after its price reached a 16-year peak, the Australian Financial Review reported.

As many as 50 funds, including Anchorage Capital Group, are reportedly storing uranium, betting on further price spikes.

The New York-based Anchorage Capital began accumulating the yellowcake after divesting MGM Studios to Amazon (NASDAQ:).

Other significant accumulators include Yellow Cake PLC and Sprott Physical Trust, both managing billion-dollar portfolios.

Uranium concentrate, or ‘yellowcake’, is being stockpiled at ConverDyn, a US processing company.

Trend aligns with under-supply situation

“What you’re seeing with these investor types is that they’re just buying and holding,” ConverDyn vice president for Business Development Nikko Collida said.

“We’ve had some accounts that are accumulating more pounds than you would normally have seen in the past.

“With nuclear, it’s always in a state where supply is reacting slowly to demand changes.

“We’re at a higher moment of under-supply at the moment.”

Demand outstripping supply

The substantial global supply deficit has pushed the spot price of uranium from US$49 per pound at the start of 2023 to US$86 by year’s end, a significant increase from US$24 in early 2020.

According to London-based research firm Ocean Wall, demand outstripped supply by about 45 million pounds in 2023.

The global shift towards nuclear power for carbon emission reduction has been evident, with 61 new reactors under construction and more planned.

However, bringing new uranium mines online is a decade-long process and reactivating mothballed mines would only marginally increase supply, Ocean Wall’s uranium expert Ben Finegold explains.

Climate change solution?

BNF Capital director Sean Benson highlighted the unexpected shift in demand perspective towards nuclear power as a climate change solution.

Tees River, a dedicated uranium fund initiated by BNF Capital in 2019, has seen its value quadruple to US$280 million.

“We just felt [in 2019] that there was already a position where you were moving into a supply deficit,” Benson said.

“But one of the big surprises today is that sentiment on the demand side has changed completely.

“Previously, there wasn’t much of a discussion about nuclear being the answer to climate change. Now there’s clamour from pretty much all politicians.”

Benson predicts uranium prices could soar to US$150-US$200 per pound shortly.

Stockpiling driving prices higher

Yellow Cake PLC, the London-listed fund that exists solely to buy uranium and hold it, has amassed a war chest of almost 22 million pounds of the metal now valued at US$1.7 billion.

Sprott Physical Uranium Trust, on the other hand, has amassed 63 million pounds, worth about US$5.6 billion today.

Both collectively hold around 60% of global annual uranium supplies.

Read more on Proactive Investors AU


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