URNM: Uranium Glows in a Turbulent World

The fund has risen nearly 12% this year after registering big gains in 2023.

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Reviewed by: etf.com Staff
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Edited by: James Rubin

Can uranium-focused ETFs help make investors’ portfolios glow? 

The Sprott Uranium Miners ETF (URNM) has risen nearly 10% this year, reaching an all-time high above $57 earlier this month. The gains followed a 52% increase in 2023 from a low just above $31. More than $39 million has flowed into URNM since late 2023. The Sprott Junior Uranium Miners ETF (URNJ) is up about 15% year-to-date.

URNM and URNJ's surges have dovetailed with rising prices for the silvery grey metal, which helps power nuclear reactors that produce electricity and plays a large role in medical, military and commercial devices. Uranium pushed past $100 in January after languishing below that level for much of the past 17 years. It reached a high of $136 in 2007.  

More recently, uranium has drawn wider interest amid mounting global tensions between the U.S. and Russia, and concerns of nuclear proliferation globally. Uranium is a key component in nuclear technology, including weaponry.

In an etf.com analysis for the seven-day period ending Feb. 5, URNM ranked among the top performing funds with the publication attributing its strong showing to “output cuts at the world’s largest producer and as a nuclear energy bill winds its way through the U.S. Congress.” 

URNM's Holdings

URNM holds a basket of global companies that possess physical uranium, mine, explore, develop and produce the metal, along with others. Those include Sprott Physical Uranium Trust, CGN Mining Co. Ltd, Uranium Energy Corp. And Cameco Corp. 

URNM has $1.85 billion in assets under management and trades an average of nearly one million shares daily, making it a highly liquid product. It charges a 0.83% management fee. 

Uranium is a metal that does not trade liquidity on any of the world’s leading futures exchanges. While the Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s COMEX division offers a Uranium 308 contract, it has virtually no volume, making it a pricing benchmark. On Feb. 9, the price for March delivery was at $100.90 per pound. The benchmark contract has been rising since late 2023. 

Andrew Hecht is a Nevada-based writer and analyst covering stocks, bonds, foreign exchange, cryptocurrency and raw material markets. He has over four decades of experience in markets across all asset classes, concentrating on commodity markets. Hecht was a senior trader at Salomon Brothers in the 1980s and 1990s, running sales and trading businesses. In 2013, McGraw Hill published his book, “How to Make Money in Commodities."