Helium prices skyrocket, creating problems.

February 25, 2024


  • Helium is crucial for various technologies, including MRI scanners and semiconductors.
  • The era of cheap helium is over, leading to rising prices and shortages in the global market.

In the article “The era of cheap helium is over—and that’s already causing problems,” the author discusses the rising prices and shortages of helium, a critical element used in various high-tech industries. The increasing demand for helium, driven by technologies like MRI scanners, superconductors, and semiconductor fabs, has led to a tightening supply chain and spikes in prices. With the global helium market experiencing four shortages since 2006 and the price nearly doubling in recent years, industries are looking for alternatives and ways to recycle helium.

The article highlights the importance of helium in various industries and the challenges faced by countries dependent on few sources for their supply. The author explores the history of helium as a critical resource and the measures taken by countries to secure a steady supply. With the US and Qatar being the largest producers of helium, new players like Russia and Qatar are entering the market to meet the growing demand.

As industries continue to rely on helium for critical applications, the need for strategic resource management and sustainable practices becomes crucial. The article emphasizes the need to understand and appreciate the importance of helium in modern technologies and the global economy. In conclusion, the article suggests that managing helium resources sustainably will be key to ensuring a stable supply for industries reliant on this essential element.