Uranium Exports by Country

Nuclear power plant

Nuclear power plant

Uranium is a silvery-white metal that is weakly radioactive with unique nuclear properties. Uranium’s major uses are as high-density penetrators in the military sector and as a fuel for nuclear power plants in the civilian sphere.

There are three major subcategories of uranium. The 6-digit Harmonized Tariff System code prefix is 284410 for natural uranium and its compounds. Code prefix 284420 represents enriched uranium, while 284430 is for depleted uranium.

Natural uranium exports by country totaled US$3.4 billion in 2018, down by an average -26.6% for all exporting countries over the five-year period starting in 2014. The value of exported enriched uranium was $2.3 billion, an amount down by -29.9% since 2014. Depleted uranium exports fell in value by -12.4% to $52.5 million in 2018 from $59.9 million during 2014.

Uranium Exports by Country

Natural

Below are the 15 countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of natural uranium during 2018.

  1. Kazakhstan: US$1.3 billion (37.9% of natural uranium exports)
  2. Canada: $894.4 million (26.3%)
  3. Namibia: $374.1 million (11%)
  4. United States: $253.3 million (7.5%)
  5. Netherlands: $159 million (4.7%)
  6. France: $143.5 million (4.2%)
  7. Ukraine: $132.4 million (3.9%)
  8. Uzbekistan: $90.5 million (2.7%)
  9. South Africa: $20.8 million (0.6%)
  10. Russia: $14.5 million (0.4%)
  11. Niger: $9 million (0.3%)
  12. Germany: $8 million (0.2%)
  13. United Kingdom: $3.4 million (0.1%)
  14. South Korea: $3.2 million (0.1%)
  15. Japan: $1.2 million (0.03%)

By value, the listed 15 countries shipped 99.9799% of global natural uranium exports in 2018.

Four among the above countries grew their natural uranium exports since 2014 namely: Germany (up 709.9%), Japan (up 34.3%), Netherlands (up 13.8%) and France (up 5.3%).

Those countries that posted declines in their exported natural uranium sales were led by: Russia (down -90.3%), United Kingdom (down -86.3%), Uzbekistan (down -73%), South Africa (down -59.2%) and Ukraine (down -49%).

Enriched

Below are the 15 countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of enriched uranium during 2018.

  1. Netherlands: US$693.3 million (30.6% of enriched uranium exports)
  2. France: $529.6 million (23.4%)
  3. Germany: $516.4 million (22.8%)
  4. China: $265.8 million (11.7%)
  5. United States: $132.4 million (5.9%)
  6. Kazakhstan: $59.1 million (2.6%)
  7. Sweden: $51.3 million (2.3%)
  8. Japan: $10.3 million (0.5%)
  9. Brazil: $3.4 million (0.2%)
  10. Canada: $428,000 (0.02%)
  11. Belgium: $274,000 (0.01%)
  12. South Africa: $103,000 (0.005%)
  13. Malaysia: $60,000 (0.003%)
  14. Thailand: $32,000 (0.0014%)
  15. United Kingdom: $22,000 (0.001%)

By value, the listed 15 countries shipped 99.9996% of global enriched uranium exports in 2018.

Four among the above countries expanded their enriched uranium exports since 2014 namely: Malaysia (up 2,900%), Sweden (up 1,994%), South Africa (up 1,960%) and China (up 0.6%).

Those countries that posted declines in their exported enriched uranium sales were led by: Canada (down -98.5%), United States (down -65.7%), Japan (down -36.3%), France (down -35.9%) and Germany (down -28%).

Depleted

Below are the 15 countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of depleted uranium during 2018.

  1. Germany: US$17.6 million (33.6% of depleted uranium exports)
  2. France: $16.5 million (31.4%)
  3. United States: $7.4 million (14.1%)
  4. Russia: $3.9 million (7.3%)
  5. Niger: $2.2 million (4.1%)
  6. Czech Republic: $1.5 million (2.8%)
  7. Poland: $1.2 million (2.3%)
  8. Italy: $571,000 (1.1%)
  9. India: $540,000 (1.0%)
  10. Malaysia: $336,000 (0.6%)
  11. Switzerland: $203,000 (0.4%)
  12. Spain: $156,000 (0.3%)
  13. Canada: $98,000 (0.2%)
  14. South Korea: $86,000 (0.16%)
  15. Australia: $58,000 (0.11%)

By value, the listed 15 countries shipped 99.7% of global depleted uranium exports in 2018.

Among the above countries, the fastest-growing depleted uranium exporters since 2014 were: Malaysia (up 2,300%), Switzerland (up 1,745%), Russia (up 1,444%) and Poland (up 1,318%).

Those countries that posted declines in their exported depleted uranium sales were led by: South Korea (down -76.1%), India (down -40.9%), Australia (down -40.8%), France (down -34.8%) and Germany (down -26.7%).

Companies

Global Uranium Producers

According to MiningFeeds.com, the following companies represent established players engaged in the international uranium trade. Their home country is shown within parenthesis.

  • Altius Minerals (Canada)
  • BHP Billiton Ltd (Australia)
  • Cameco (Canada)
  • Energy Resources of Australia (Australia)
  • Rio Tinto Ltd (Australia)
  • Uranium Energy Corp (United States)
  • Uranium Participation Corp (Canada)
  • Ur-Energy Inc (United States)


 

From a continental perspective, Asia earned the most revenue from natural uranium exports during 2018 with shipments valued at $1.4 billion or 40.7% of the global total. In second place were North American exporters at 33.8% while 13.6% of natural uranium shipments originated from Europe. Africa accounted for an 11.9% share.

European exporters were responsible for almost four-fifths (79.2%) of enriched uranium global sales. Asian countries generated 14.8% of worldwide enriched uranium sales followed by North American nations at 5.9%, Brazil at 0.15% representing South America, then African suppliers at a miniscule 0.005%.

Europe is also a dominant player for depleted uranium exports at 79.5% of the worldwide total, trailed by North America at 14.3% and well ahead of Africa (4.2%), Asia (1.9%), Oceania (0.11%) then Latin America (0.07%).

See also Gold Exports by Country, Silver Exports by Country and Platinum Exports by Country

Research Sources:
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on June 7, 2019

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on June 7, 2019

Mining Feeds, Uranium Mining Companies Listed in All Countries. Accessed on June 7, 2018

The World Factbook, Field Listing: Exports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on June 7, 2019

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on June 7, 2019

Wikipedia, Uranium. Accessed on June 7, 2018