Hedge-fund managers, commodities fetishists, and dirty-bomb fanboys, take note: at 6 PM tomorrow, the New York Mercantile Exchange is set to offer, for the first time ever, a market for uranium futures. Forget diversification, what your portfolio needs is fission! From UPI:
Uranium futures products traded on and off the exchange will be introduced on the CME Globex and NYMEX ClearPort platforms, ready for trade Monday. Utilities [now] buy fuel for their plants in contracts that guarantee supply but not a fixed price.... The NYMEX/UXC project is intended to change that, said Jeff Combs, president of Ux Consulting. He said it will add transparency to the global uranium contract market and "development of a forward price curve."
Transparency (or at least translucency) is needed, you see, because uranium is one of the most white-hot commodities out there, currently trading at $113 a pound, or 10 times the 1990s average. Go Team Capitalism!But before you fetch Fat Man and Little Boy out of storage, there are some unfortunate externalities to deal with:
Uranium data that market consultant TradeTech provided to StockInterview.com [which 'specializes in detailed uranium market news'] show spot transactions are at the lowest year-to-date level in a decade, dropping 65 percent in April.
Plus, Finch notes, there's a $28 spread between long-term and spot prices. And industry insiders tell him they're looking for "real sentiment" on prices, not the NYMEX price.
And one big factor remains: The uranium sector isn't at a point to link the NYMEX futures contract to the physical material. This highlights the difference between trading a material used to make both electricity and bombs and, say, corn or soybeans, since a federal agency — the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission — has to license a facility merely to store uranium.
"One thing everybody agrees is there will be volatility," Finch said.
Hmm, so setting aside the possibility of "real sentiment" (obvi), Trader Monthly readers are betting that uranium will keep on exploding? I don't know, this might just be too much volatility for me.
When's the NYMEX finally going to cover the whole periodic table? Call me a wimp, but I'm a t-bill and argon man, myself.