That dollar amount reflects a 49.8% gain from the $2.14 billion that the US spent on overall uranium imports 5 years earlier in 2018, and a 33.4% year-over-year acceleration from 2021 to 2022.
Uranium is a silvery-white metal with unique nuclear properties. The main non-military use of uranium is as a fuel for nuclear power plants. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, nuclear power plants process a specific type of uranium known as U-235 as fuel because its atoms are split apart relatively easily.
US import data presented below is separated into two distinct forms. Enriched U-235 uranium is recorded under six-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code 284420 in contrast to 284410 for natural uranium and its compounds.
Of the total $3.2 billion in American uranium imports during 2022, 92% ($2.94 billion) was for international purchases of enriched uranium. That share compares to 8% ($257.3 million) for imported natural uranium and related compounds.
Countries Exporting Enriched Uranium to America
Below are the 10 countries from which the United States purchased $2.94 billion worth of enriched U-235 uranium during 2022. The United States has increased its enriched uranium imports by 69.3% since 2018 and by 34.8% from 2021 to 2022.
- Russia: US$830.2 million (28.2% of US imports of enriched uranium)
- Germany: $621.8 million (21.1%)
- Netherlands: $605.1 million (20.6%)
- United Kingdom: $512.5 million (17.4%)
- France: $267.6 million (9.1%)
- Japan: $81.7 million (2.8%)
- Belgium: $19.1 million (0.7%)
- Kazakhstan: $3.8 million (0.13%)
- Canada: $412,000 (0.014%)
- Spain: $45,000 (0.002%)
Four countries boosted their revenues by at least 3 digit from their enriched uranium sold to America, namely France (up 2,229,492% from 2018), Belgium (up 36,694%), Japan (up 358.7%), Germany (up 116.3%) and the United Kingdom (up 103.1%).
The lone declining supplier over the 5-year period was Canada thanks to its -3.7% shrinkage in enriched uranium sales to the United States.
Countries Exporting Natural Uranium to America
Below are the 7 countries from which the United States bought $257.3 million worth of natural uranium including its compounds during 2022. America boosted its spending on imported natural uranium by 18.9% from 2021 to 2022 but decreased by -35.3% since 2018.
- Canada: US$248.8 million (96.7% of total US imported uranium)
- Kazakhstan: $8.4 million (3.3%)
- Italy: $50,000 (0.02%)
- Israel: $13,000 (0.01%)
- Switzerland: $4,000 (0.002%)
- France: $2,000 (0.001%)
- United Kingdom: $2,000 (0.001%)
There were no documented gainers among America’s suppliers of natural uranium from 2018 to 2022.
The value of natural uranium that the US imported in 2022 shrank for suppliers in France (down -83.3% compared to 2018), United Kingdom (down -77.8%), Kazakhstan (down -55.7%) and Canada (down -32.7%).
US Uranium Suppliers Causing Trade Deficits for America
America does produce and sell its own uranium on international markets. In 2022, the United States shipped $87.1 million worth of enriched uranium to its international trade partners plus another $257.3 million worth of natural uranium.
However, American revenues from exported enriched uranium fall far short of the $2.94 billion that the US spent on imported enriched uranium thus resulting in a -$2.8 billion product category deficit in 2022.
Similarly, America shipped $104.8 million worth of natural uranium compared to $257.3 million in US imports of natural uranium thus generating America’s -$152.5 million negative trade balance for natural uranium in 2022.
Below you will find the 9 countries that caused America’s country-specific deficits from buying and selling enriched uranium on international markets, incurring a subtotal deficit of -$2.92 billion for 2022.
- Russia: -US$830.2 million (product deficit up 24.6% since 2018)
- Germany: -$621.7 million (up 116.3%)
- Netherlands: -$602.4 million (up 34.6%)
- United Kingdom: -$511.2 million (up 103.7%)
- France: -$261.8 million (reversing a $4.9 million surplus)
- Japan: -$78.6 million (reversing a $67 surplus)
- Belgium: -$11.8 million (reversing a $218,000 surplus)
- Canada: -$394,000 (up 2.9%)
- Kazakhstan: -$80,000 (reversing a $718,000 surplus)
As for natural uranium, the following 6 trade partners created a subtotal US deficit totaling -$257.2 million during 2022.
- Canada: -US$248.8 million (product deficit down -28.7% since 2018)
- Kazakhstan: -$8.4 million (down -55.7%)
- Italy: -$47,000 (reversing a $14,000 surplus)
- Israel: -$10,000 (reversing a $46,000 surplus)
- Switzerland: -$4,000 (2018 data unavailable)
- France: -$2,000 (down -77.8%)
See also US Iron and Steel Imports by Supplier Countries, America’s Top Trading Partners, United States Top 10 Imports and US Aluminum Imports by Supplying Country
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