China uranium grab poses threat to western energy supply, warns Yellow Cake – by Harry Dempsey (Financial Times – December 9, 2023)

Prices of nuclear commodity at 15-year high as governments scramble to secure sources of fuel for power stations

China is making an aggressive push to tie up global uranium supply amid a worldwide rush to secure nuclear fuel, warned the boss of Yellow Cake, a London-listed investment vehicle for the radioactive commodity.

André Liebenberg, chief executive of the Aim-traded company, said the west was lagging behind in securing uranium after prices hit a 15-year high and as Chinese firms purchase supplies on the open market, sign long-term contracts and buy up mines.

“Any mineral they need, they will look to tie up,” he said. “Chinese efforts to secure supply will certainly create competition for resources, and given resource opportunities are limited, they will challenge western utilities’ ability to source supply.”

Uranium has been one of the best-performing commodities of the year, climbing 70 per cent to trade at $81 per pound, its highest since 2007. The blistering rally has been supported by governments supporting nuclear energy — a constant and low-carbon power source — by extending the lifetime of plants and considering building new reactors in the wake of gas prices skyrocketing last year.

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