Japan's August Helium Imports Plummet but Jump in Pricing

Japan's latest helium data for August indicated falling volumes but higher prices. YTD volumes have stayed flat at an average of ~24mmcf/month, however imports have dropped by almost 15% m/m with prices rising to >US$460/mcf. Pricing from Qatar has remained stable but US pricing in August jumped to >US$600/mcf, 50% above the average price seen previously YTD from the US. The decrease in Japanese volumes, especially from Qatar are in contrast to record Chinese imports in August, so there may have been some diversion of cargoes from Japan or timing effects.

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