MLS 0.00% 0.3¢ metals australia ltd

good uranium read from macquarie

  1. 435 Posts.
    Merger and acquisition speculation in the resources sector
    continued overnight with Cameco, the world's no.1 uranium supplier,
    rumoured (in the AFR) to be preparing a takeover bid for Paladin
    Resources to boost it's sources of supply. This follows Cameco's
    announcement last week that their Cigar Lake mine, expected to
    produce 10% of global uranium production early next year, will now
    be delayed out until 2011 due to flooding. Shares in PDN raced up
    7% in early trade on the back of the news, however have fallen back to be up only 2% after announcing to the ASX that company has ‘had
    no approach from Cameco’. Irrespective of the rumoured bid,
    Macquarie Research equities (MRE) remain very bullish on the
    outlook for uranium in 2007/08 and retain Paladin Resources (PDN)
    as their top pick in the sector.  With the market expected to
    remain in significant deficit in 2007/08 and significant downside
    risks to supply side, MRE believe it is hard to see what will stop spot prices going higher. Read on to learn about why the drivers of uranium prices (The uranium spot price hit $125/lb in mid May, its highest nominal and real level on record, up more than twelve-fold
    from $10/lb in early 2003.) will continue


    MRE highlight the three main drivers of this uranium bull market:
    1. Supply
    Between the late 1980s and early this decade secondary supplies
    hung over the market, resulting in very low prices and inducing
    little to no investment in uranium exploration and output capacity.
    Since the late 1980s primary mine supply has not been sufficient to
    meet demand and so large quantities of non-recyclable secondary
    supplies were ‘used up’ in filling this gap over this period.


    2. Demand
    The drying up of secondary supply sources and tight uranium market
    has driven the massive increase in demand for future primary mine
    supply over the past three years, evidenced by a massive increase
    in long-term contracting in recent years.
    Current supply shortage is being exacerbated by speculators/hedge
    funds entering the market and holding large quantities of uranium
    (roughly 8-10,000tU is estimated be held off the market).
    Unlike other metals, the initial boom in the uranium price was not
    directly tied to China (actual demand from China to date is
    reportedly negligible), it is more of a traditional underinvestment
    / tight market related cyclical price boom.


    3. Speculative activity
    Has been playing a big role in the boom in spot prices. On and
    off-market uranium futures began trading on NYME on 7 May (no
    physical delivery) - the June 2007 contract is trading at $134.9/lb
    and the February 2008 contract last traded at $150.0/lb.


    Reasons to Buy into the Uranium Story…
    • Concerns over future supply fuelled by the delays at Cameco’s
    massive 18mlbpa capacity Cigar Lake project, will keep reactor
    demand for future mine supply at very high levels in the coming
    year.
    • Recent flooding at ERA’s Ranger mine - the world’s second highest producing mine – will reduce supply from the mine significantly in
    2008, taking much-needed supply off a market already in deficit.
    • High levels of reactor procurement of future mine supply is
    likely to continue to spill over to the spot market
    • Uranium held by speculators/hedge funds appears to be in tight
    hands (at current prices).
    • Producer, consumer and (strategic) government inventory building
    (China in particular), is likely to keep the market tight in the
    coming years.
    • Uranium futures (no physical delivery) are giving bullish
    guidance as to uranium prices going forward – with the June 2007
    contract trading around $135/lb and the early 2008 contracts at
    $150.0/lb.


    Getting Exposure in Australia
    MRE currently cover two Australian uranium miners - Paladin and ERA
    - of which MRE currently view Paladin as the preferred exposure to
    uranium, owing to its exposure to spot price upside.

 
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