Uranium

ASX uranium stocks bounce as Kazakhstan declares state of emergency

Wed 05 Jan 22, 1:15pm (AEST)
civil unrest protest

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Key Points

  • Kazakhstan is grappling with civil unrest amid a spike in fuel prices
  • The country was responsible for 41% of the world's uranium supply in 2020
  • ASX uranium stocks bounce back after Oct-Nov selloff

Kazakhstan’s president has declared a state of emergency as authorities attempt to clamp down on a third consecutive day of riots against the sudden jump in liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). 

Video footage has emerged on social media showing lines of riot police and armored vehicles, massed in the country’s largest metropolis of Almaty.    

The government has gone as far as cutting off the internet and blocking news websites, according to NetBlocks.

The protests were sparked by a sudden rise in fuel prices after authorities lifted price caps on LPG. 

Domestic fuel prices have been regulated and subsidised since January 2019 amid a phased transition to electronic trading.

The idea was to allow free market forces to determine prices in 2022.

In a matter of days, LPG prices at gas stations doubled from 60 tenge (19 cents) to 120 tenge (38 cents) per litre.  

To add some perspective, average monthly wages in Kazakhstan come in at roughly  250,000 tenge ($790) a month, according to Trading Economics. 

There are concerns that the civil unrest could impact the economy, if protests manage to spill over into oil-producing hubs and affect domestic output.

Why does this concern uranium stocks? 

Kazakhstan has dominated the uranium scene, responsible for 41% of the world’s supply in 2020, according to the World Uranium Association.

Kazakhstan’s Kazatomprom is the world’s largest producer and seller of uranium, accounting for 22% of global output.   

It goes without saying, if the protests escalate into a full-blown crisis, uranium prices could be poised to benefit. 

Uranium stocks rebound 

Most ASX uranium stocks have bounced back into positive territory in what is otherwise a challenging day for the broader market.

The largest local uranium stock, Paladin Energy (ASX: PDN) is trading 1.1% higher to 96 cents after sliding 2.1% at open.

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Written By

Kerry Sun

Finance Writer & Social Media

Kerry holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Monash University and was Vice President of the University Network for Investing and Trading (UNIT). He is an avid swing trader, and drawn to breakouts and technical set ups. Outside of writing and trading, Kerry is a huge UFC fan, loves poker and bouldering.

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