Hot topic – Tight times for US argon supply


When it comes to market shortages, one gas has very much been the centre of attention in recent years – helium. Shortages of helium have dominated our headlines as various production outages, coupled with a lack of new capacity coming on-stream, meant that supply failed to keep pace with demand.

The industry has been able to take a step back from the ‘Helium Cliff’ in 2014. But another of the noble gases has begun to make waves in the industrial gases business of late, as argon has found itself the subject of a number of significant price increases. Airgas announced in October (2014) that it would be increasing prices on argon by up to 15%, effective 1st November or as contracts permit.

This follows the company’s announcement in May that its operating units would be increasing prices on argon by up to 25%, beginning 1st July 2014 or as contracts permit.

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