The rare gas market begins to stabilize


Rare gases had a good 2018. We saw a stabilization of prices for xenon, a slight decline in neon and a slight increase in krypton, but no wild swings as in many of the past years.

Xenon was the star with fears of price increases due to the large demand from Samsung in South Korea which was to come on in the third quarter of the year, came on with little fanfare as the supply was known since 2016. The prices stabilized in early 2018 and did not rise as Samsung began taking 20% of the world supply. This increase in demand was just enough to pick up the decline in demand from the lighting and dark matter applications. 

With neon, we saw continued over supply with many plants still blowing the neon-helium mixture crude to atmosphere. As you would expect, the price declined slightly on large volumes but was stable for most smaller volumes. Krypton, which has been in an over supply for years, is finally looking up as the price and demand rise slightly in the second half of 2018.

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