WINNIPEG – Canada’s Cameco, the world’s second-biggest uranium producer, said on Tuesday it may not be finished cutting production as prices remain low after a major customer cancelled a supply contract.
Spot prices of uranium, used to fuel nuclear reactors, dipped to a 13-year low late last year and have rebounded only modestly in 2017. They have stayed stubbornly weak since a 2011 tsunami in Japan led to the shutdown of all the country’s nuclear reactors.
This month, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings (Tepco), the operator of the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant, said it was scrapping its uranium supply contract with Cameco.
"2017 could make us look at changes to our inventory position, our production profile and our purchasing activity; all of those effects of the Tepco situation," Cameco CEO Tim Gitzel said at an investor conference in Florida.
Cameco “won’t be very compromising” in its legal position against Tepco, Gitzel said.
The Saskatoon, Saskatchewan based company said in January it would cut 120 jobs at three uranium mines in 2017. It reported lower-than-expected quarterly profit this month.
Cameco shares eased 0.8% in New York to $11.20 in morning trading.