Majors grapple with fragmenting global helium market


The supply of helium from Gazprom’s Amur Gas Processing Plant in Russia is starting to impact market pricing for the industrial gas majors supplying Asia.

Three of the listed industrial gas majors have talked about helium pricing in their latest earnings calls, with pricing in China and Asia more generally starting to soften as the new Amur helium supply from the plant’s first train becomes established.

Air Liquide CEO François Jackow said the overall picture in helium in the first quarter was positive for the company, but noted how that solid overarching picture was only a part of the story, with pricing strongly up in North America but flat in Europe and down in China, as well as down in Asia more generally.

“In Asia, and more specifically in China, we see a drastic decrease in the volume and also a decrease in the pricing,” said Jackow. “This is probably due to some helium coming from third parties sourcing in new parts of the world, especially from Russia. But at this stage this is … very much contained to China.”

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