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$4.3 billion in 2016, down by an average -30.9% for all exporting countries over the five-year period starting in 2012. The value of exported enriched uranium was $2.1 billion, an amount down by an even more severe -61.1% since 2012. Depleted uranium exports were worth $34 million down by -42.8%.

Asian countries accounted for the highest dollar worth of natural uranium exports during 2016 with shipments valued at $2 billion or 47.6% of global exports. In second place were North American exporters at 38.9% while 12.9% of natural uranium shipments originated from Europe. Africa accounts for just 0.6%.

In contrast, European exporters were responsible for 85.9% of enriched uranium global sales. Asian countries were responsible for 8.1% of worldwide enriched uranium shipments, followed by North American nations at 5.8%.

Similarly, Europe is a dominant player for depleted uranium exports at 85.1% of the global total, followed by North America at 12.5% lagged by Asia at 1.9%.

Uranium Exports by Country

Natural

Below are the 15 countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of natural uranium during 2016:

  1. Kazakhstan: US$1.7 billion (40.8% of exported natural uranium)
  2. Canada: $1.2 billion (27.6%)
  3. United States: $483 million (11.3%)
  4. Uzbekistan: $288 million (6.8%)
  5. France: $194.3 million (4.6%)
  6. Ukraine: $129.7 million (3%)
  7. Netherlands: $125.1 million (2.9%)
  8. Russia: $50 million (1.2%)
  9. Czech Republic: $26.9 million (0.6%)
  10. South Africa: $24.3 million (0.6%)
  11. Germany: $22.4 million (0.5%)
  12. Malaysia: $2.3 million (0.1%)
  13. Japan: $635,000 (0.01%)
  14. Hungary: $555,000 (0.01%)
  15. United Kingdom: $61,000 (0.001%)

The listed 15 countries shipped 99.996% of global natural uranium exports in 2016 by value.

Four of the above top countries increased their exports of natural uranium since 2012: United Kingdom (up 771.4%), Malaysia (up 735%), Netherlands (up 145.1%) and Germany (up 28.4%).

Those countries that posted declines in their exported natural uranium sales were led by: France (down -59.1%), Japan (down -55.6%), Russia (down -40.7%), Kazakhstan (down -34.7%) and Canada (down -34%).

Enriched

Below are the 15 countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of enriched uranium during 2016:

  1. France: US$727.7 million (34% of total enriched uranium exports)
  2. Germany: $538.5 million (25.2%)
  3. Netherlands: $520.6 million (24.3%)
  4. China: $135.6 million (6.3%)
  5. United States: $103.9 million (4.9%)
  6. Spain: $45.8 million (2.1%)
  7. Kazakhstan: $33.1 million (1.5%)
  8. Canada: $19.5 million (0.9%)
  9. Sweden: $6.3 million (0.3%)
  10. Japan: $4.7 million (0.2%)
  11. Brazil: $4.3 million (0.2%)
  12. Belgium: $228,000 (0.01%)
  13. Brunei Darussalam: $76,000 (0.004%)
  14. United Arab Emirates: $21,000 (0.001%)
  15. Norway: $20,000 (0.001%)

The listed 15 countries shipped 99.999% of global enriched uranium exports in 2016 by value.

Among the above countries, the fastest-growing enriched uranium exporters since 2012 were: Canada (up 19,225%), Brunei Darussalam (up 5,600%), Spain (up 1,484%) and Sweden (up 90.7%).

Those countries that posted declines in their exported enriched uranium sales were led by: Belgium (down -98.7%), Norway (down -98.3%), United States (down -89.7%), Japan (down -78%) and Netherlands (down -68.3%).

Depleted

Below are the 15 countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of depleted uranium during 2016:

  1. Germany: US$22.3 million (65.7% of exported depleted uranium)
  2. United States: $3.4 million (10%)
  3. Netherlands: $1.9 million (5.5%)
  4. United Kingdom: $1.8 million (5.2%)
  5. Czech Republic: $1.2 million (3.6%)
  6. Italy: $893,000 (2.6%)
  7. Canada: $853,000 (2.5%)
  8. India: $567,000 (1.7%)
  9. France: $332,000 (1%)
  10. Spain: $313,000 (0.9%)
  11. Russia: $98,000 (0.3%)
  12. South Africa: $92,000 (0.3%)
  13. Australia: $62,000 (0.2%)
  14. Slovakia: $54,000 (0.2%)
  15. Malaysia: $45,000 (0.1%)

The listed 15 countries shipped 99.7% of global depleted uranium exports in 2016 by value.

Among the above countries, the fastest-growing depleted uranium exporters since 2012 were: Canada (up 9,378%), South Africa (up 9,100%), United Kingdom (up 254.8%) and Australia (up 226.3%).

Those countries that posted declines in their exported depleted uranium sales were led by: France (down -98.4%), Spain (down -94.6%), Malaysia (down -77%), Russia (down -70.9%) and United States (down -69.1%).

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.

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


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

Research Sources:
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Exports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on July 12, 2017

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on July 12, 2017

Wikipedia, Uranium. Accessed on July 12, 2017

Mining Feeds, Uranium Mining Companies Listed in All Countries. Accessed on July 12, 2017