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$3.7 billion in 2017, down by an average -33% for all exporting countries over the five-year period starting in 2013. The value of exported enriched uranium was $2.3 billion, an amount down by an even more severe -44% since 2013. Bucking the downward trend, depleted uranium exports rose in value by 121.9% to $114.8 million in 2017 from $51.7 million during 2013.

Asian countries earned the most revenue from natural uranium exports during 2017 with shipments valued at $1.5 billion or 39.4% of the global total. In second place were North American exporters at 32.5% while 14.8% of natural uranium shipments originated from Europe. Africa accounted for a 13.3% share.

European exporters were responsible for three-quarters (75.3%) of enriched uranium global sales. Asian countries generated 12.4% of worldwide enriched uranium sales followed by North American nations at 8.6%, African suppliers at 3.6% then Latin America excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean at 0.03%.

Europe is an even more dominant player for depleted uranium exports at 92.8% of the global total, trailed by North America at 5.9% and well ahead of Africa (0.8%), Asia (0.4%) then Oceania (0.1%).

Uranium Exports by Country

Natural

Below are the 15 countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of natural uranium during 2017.

  1. Kazakhstan: US$1.3 billion (35.7% of natural uranium exports)
  2. Canada: $853.6 million (22.8%)
  3. United States: $365.1 million (9.7%)
  4. Niger: $257.9 million (6.9%)
  5. Namibia: $226 million (6%)
  6. France: $174.2 million (4.6%)
  7. Uzbekistan: $140.8 million (3.8%)
  8. Ukraine: $130.1 million (3.5%)
  9. Netherlands: $114.2 million (3%)
  10. Germany: $95.4 million (2.5%)
  11. Russia: $23 million (0.6%)
  12. Czech Republic: $15.9 million (0.4%)
  13. South Africa: $14.4 million (0.4%)
  14. Sweden: $631,000 (0.02%)
  15. United Kingdom: $63,000 (0.002%)

The listed 15 countries shipped 99.997% of global natural uranium exports in 2017 by value.

Among the above countries, the fastest-growing natural uranium exporters since 2013 were: Namibia (up 22,598,200%), South Africa (up 11,841%), Germany (up 2,887%) and Netherlands (up 1,404%).

Those countries that posted declines in their exported natural uranium sales were led by: Sweden (down -99.2%), Russia (down -70.7%), Uzbekistan (down -64.1%), Czech Republic (down -59.4%) and Canada (down -54.8%).

Enriched

Below are the 15 countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of enriched uranium during 2017.

  1. France: US$674.4 million (29.1% of enriched uranium exports)
  2. Netherlands: $533.1 million (23%)
  3. Germany: $510.4 million (22%)
  4. United States: $200.1 million (8.6%)
  5. China: $182.8 million (7.9%)
  6. Kazakhstan: $105.3 million (4.5%)
  7. Niger: $64.3 million (2.8%)
  8. Sweden: $24.4 million (1.1%)
  9. Namibia: $20 million (0.9%)
  10. Spain: $983,000 (0.04%)
  11. Argentina: $690,000 (0.03%)
  12. Belgium: $245,000 (0.01%)
  13. Japan: $55,000 (0.002%)
  14. Kuwait: $24,000 (0.001%)
  15. Malaysia: $15,000 (0.0006%)

The listed 15 countries shipped 99.999% of global enriched uranium exports in 2017 by value.

Four top exporters increased their international sales of enriched uranium exporters since 2013 namely Sweden (up 692%), Malaysia (up 650%), Kuwait (up 300%) and Kazakhstan (up 9.7%).

Those countries that posted declines in their exported enriched uranium sales were led by: Japan (down -99.9%), Spain (down -94.1%), Belgium (down -93.9%), United States (down -71.5%) and Netherlands (down -60%).

Depleted

Below are the 15 countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of depleted uranium during 2017.

  1. United Kingdom: US$69.4 million (60.4% of depleted uranium exports)
  2. France: $11.6 million (10.1%)
  3. Netherlands: $11.3 million (9.9%)
  4. Germany: $10 million (8.8%)
  5. United States: $6.8 million (5.9%)
  6. Czech Republic: $1.6 million (1.4%)
  7. Slovakia: $976,000 (0.9%)
  8. Niger: $906,000 (0.8%)
  9. Russia: $446,000 (0.4%)
  10. India: $437,000 (0.4%)
  11. Spain: $407,000 (0.4%)
  12. Italy: $330,000 (0.3%)
  13. Switzerland: $146,000 (0.13%)
  14. Latvia: $134,000 (0.12%)
  15. Australia: $75,000 (0.07%)

The listed 15 countries shipped 99.9% of global depleted uranium exports in 2017 by value.

Among the above countries, the fastest-growing depleted uranium exporters since 2013 were: United Kingdom (up 28,107%), Slovakia (up 1,357%), Switzerland (up 440.7%) and Netherlands (up 405.8%).

Four countries incurred declines in their exported depleted uranium sales specifically Spain (down -84.3%), France (down -63.8%), India (down -35.3%) and the Czech Republic (down -17.9%).

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)


 
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 June 7, 2018

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on June 7, 2018

Wikipedia, Uranium. Accessed on June 7, 2018

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