Demand exceeding supply could continue


While it is reported that cutbacks in helium deliveries may not be as severe as first thought, the growing problem of helium shortages looks likely to continue for some time yet.

Measures to reduce cutbacks and new helium production plants have recently been announced, but this may only paper over the cracks in the industry.

The global supply capacity as of 2007 amounted to an annual 200 million m³, while the estimated demand stands at 181 million m³. Such figures suggest supply capacity exceeds demand, but breakdowns at production plants and routine maintenance mean that supply capacity is actually considered to be around 173 million m³ and lower than demand.

Annual growth in demand is 3% on a global scale but in Japan is moving along at 10% and it is just this sort of situation which may cause supply issues to continue for the next 5 years.

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