Skip navigation

Gloucestershire Business News

Helium shortage isn’t just hot air

A global shortage of helium could affect more than the party balloon industry.

If you want to buy a helium-filled balloon for a celebration, it's likely you'll be paying more, as reported by the BBC.

A global shortage of helium has seen prices rise several times this year. But it's not just parties that are suffering.

Helium is also used in medicine, electronics and deep-sea diving. It is an essential part of MRI scans that doctors use to get detailed images from inside patients. It is also important in deep sea diving, scientific research and production of computer chips and liquid crystal displays such as TV screens.

The price of helium varies around the world, depending on where you are in the supply chain and whether you buy as liquid or gas. There is no central wholesale price for helium, because it is not traded on global markets. But prices have gone up by between 50 and 100 per cent.

One of the UK's biggest helium suppliers, BOC, has warned that orders may be restricted because of the current shortage.

It's thought the shortage will ease next year with new supplies expected to come into the market from Algeria and Qatar.

Given helium's importance in medical fields, there are calls for its use in balloons to be banned. Currently around 10 per cent of the overall supply of helium is used for balloons.

Related Articles

Coronavirus Crisis Updates: The latest news from across Gloucestershire on Thursday, April 9 Image

Coronavirus Crisis Updates: The latest news from across Gloucestershire on Thursday, April 9

The latest important news and updates from across Gloucestershire as the coronavirus crisis continues.

Home deliveries could prove lifeline for Gloucestershire brewery  Image

Home deliveries could prove lifeline for Gloucestershire brewery

We may not be allowed out this Easter, but the simple art of home delivery is helping ensure some of the simple pleasures of life will be there when we escape lock down.

Coronavirus: 400,000 pieces of PPE arrive in Gloucestershire Image

Coronavirus: 400,000 pieces of PPE arrive in Gloucestershire

A drop of more than 400,000 items of personal protective equipment (PPE) arrived in the county last night to support the work of social care and health workers.

A golden opportunity to cut business utility bills   Image

A golden opportunity to cut business utility bills

As firms are forced to furlough due to the coronavirus crisis and fight for survival we thought you might like to hear about a company which has just more than halved its utility bills.

Copyright 2020 Moose Partnership Ltd. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any content is strictly forbidden without prior permission.