Canada and Australia in a race to sell uranium to India
India has a demand -supply mismatch for uranium. The country is looking forward to import uranium from foreign sources to augment the indigenous supply of this precious resource.
Is there any surprise why Canada and Australia are interested in doing uranium business with India? Both know that India is a good market for uranium. They may be worried that India can source all its long term uranium needs from Kazakhstan which is presently producing more uranium than the combined production of Canada and Australia. Kazakhstan started supplying substantial quantities of uranium to India since 2011-12. Till March 31, 2015 India imported 1495.9 metric tonnes from Kazakhstan.
Josh Wingrove columnist of BloombergBusiness reports that India’s deal to buy uranium from Canadian producer Cameco Corp. will be unveiled on Wednesday as Ottawa hosts the visit of India’s prime minister Mr Narendra Modi.
The link to the report:
Live Mint today quoted Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop as saying that India and Australia may finalize an agreement by the end of the year that will enable supply of nuclear fuel to India.
“Officials from the two countries would hold another round of talks next week on problems concerning the processes governing the sale, transfer, transportation and use of uranium imported from Australia”, Elizabeth Roche of Line Mint quoted Bishop after attending a media briefing..
“The agreement on administrative arrangements will also include an understanding on tracking uranium bought from Australia. According to India, all nuclear fuel would be tracked and inventoried by the International Atomic Energy Agency, which works under the aegis of the UN”. she added.
If Indo Canadian uranium deal is completed during Mr. Modi’s visit, it may hasten the deal with Australia.
According to the data provided by the World Nuclear Assocation, Kazakhstan has dominated uranium production since 2009 forcing Canada and Australia to second and third position respectively. The production figures for Kazakhstan, Canada, Australia and India are given in Table 1
To realize India’s position we may compare the above production figures with those of India for the years 2007,2008,2009,2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 2014(NA)
For the same period uranium production for Pakistan, China and Russia are as follows( the figures for Pakistan and China for 2014 are not available):
(Production figures for uranium for all countries including India are from World Nuclear Association 2015)
India has been importing uranium in the form of uranium concentrates and uranium dioxide pellets from Russia and Kazakhstan for the past several years.
Following are the quantities of uranium imported into India from Russia and Kazakhstan .
Uranium import to India as on March 31, 2015
Country 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15
Russia 296.08 295.64 296.31 296.54
Kazakhstan 350.00 402.5 460.00 283.40
Canada and Australia know that they can no longer wait in this business.