Helium: Understanding the market in 2021


If the message this time last year was that everything you knew was about to change, then with the dawn of 2021 we are on the cusp of that significant step change in the global helium business.

Helium supply and demand was turned on its head by the global pandemic (Covid-19) which swept across the world early last year. This is widely acknowledged to have brought an early end to Helium Shortage 3.0 as the economic chaos inflicted by the pandemic softened demand, while an interlinked headline as a result was of a pricing plateau that could last for some time to come.

“Shortages could be over for an extended period as long as new supply enters the market,” Phil Kornbluth, President of Kornbluth Helium Consulting, told gasworld TV during its series of webinars last October titled Helium: Understanding the Market in 2020.

“I don’t want to completely discount the possibility of shortages could return if new supplies are delayed. But over-supply looks more likely than shortages once Amur [Gazprom, Russia] enters the market. Helium prices are in a plateau phase and steep increases are over for this cycle. When new supply enters the market, I would say that prices are likely to turn down again subject to the timing of the new supply.”

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