Helium: Why everything you know is about to change

Helium: Why everything you know is about to change

Change: an act or process through which something becomes different; change may be used for such a difference in a thing that it becomes something else; change may also be used for substituting one thing for another.

These are just a few small definitions of change, something that the global helium business has become accustomed to through the years. Whether it’s been the legislation affecting the market (think the Helium Privitization Act of 1996 and more recently the Helium Stewardship Act of 2013), or the sharp swings from balance to critical shortage, it’s been through process change, subject to substitution in some applications, and a market ever-evolving.

For all of the change the industry is so used to, however, there’s even more of it to come in the year(s) ahead. Here’s five reasons why everything we know – or thought we knew – about the helium business is about to change in a big way.

1. The pendulum is about to swing…once again

From shortage (2006/7) to balance, shortage (2011-2013) to surplus, and shortage (2018-2019) to now, some sense of balance surfacing again in 2020. That’s been the story of the helium business over the last decade or more, and where it could be heading in the year ahead.

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