Helium prices spike 135%. Stores are dry. If you’re reading the news, you’re likely concerned. Here’s the story and what it means to Zephyr customers.
Back in March, we informed our customers that a potential helium shortage was looming around the corner for 2018. While it was not going to have an impact on Zephyr customers (we’ll remind you why in just a bit), the shortage is now in effect, and businesses are feeling the pain from coast to coast.
Helium supplies are down
The helium shortage is now affecting real business everywhere, like here in Alabama:
The story is identical in Georgia, Florida, and many other states across the U.S., which you can Google if you so desire to see how your city or state is holding up.
In preparation for the shortages, many of the gas majors have been doling out helium allocation letters since nearly the start of the calendar year. Of the businesses that were only receiving a fraction of their usual orders from other gas providers, many now cannot get delivery at all.
Helium prices are up
For many businesses, it’s a double whammy. Trends are showing that if you can get full delivery, helium prices may soon be increasing. This trend was further reinforced by the results of the most recent federal helium auction, held in August by the Bureau of Land Management.
The result of the August auction saw helium prices rising by $160.64/mscf from the average of $119.31/mscf at the previous fiscal year 2018 auction. That represents a 135% increase.
So far, this all sounds like doom and gloom. But read on.
What does this mean for Zephyr customers?
First off, if you’re a Zephyr customer then you know we’ve never sent you a helium allocation letter. And we aren’t going to. When you order your helium from us, you will get your helium. Read more here.
Let’s talk a little more about why Zephyr is different from the other helium providers out there. Really, it comes down to one key element: The way we source and supply helium is different from the other majors out there.
Knowing helium is a commodity that fluctuates in price and availability, we knew from day one not to put all our eggs in one basket. Other companies simply didn’t operate that way and for that, they have to allocate and cut helium delivery. We don’t.
Zephyr’s own Charity Szili explains: “We source from 186 independent delivery agents in all 50 states and work with major gas suppliers around the world and this is what allows us to pivot. This protects us during times of shortage, like in 2012, or the Qatar shutdown last year. While many majors ran dry, we were able to continue supplying helium to all of our contract customers without any dip in service. Rest assured, we will continue to be able supply helium to our customers as they need it.”
We proactively watch the international markets and fluctuations of helium supplies and helium prices. It is because of our distribution network – the most diversified in the business – that Zephyr customers will continue to see a constant flow of gas to their businesses.
As for helium prices, while global market prices do fluctuate based on supply, availability, and other factors like international events and relations, the trend for most commodities typically crawls steadily upward over time.
We will continue to work hard to bring the best helium prices to you. We always have, we always will. And that is the Zephyr promise.
How you can save both supply and money
Shortage or not, there are standards that should always be practiced to help conserve helium. We have lots of tips on our website to save you supply and cost. Here are the top 3, and they’re so incredibly easy to follow that it’s almost to good to be true.