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Resurgence in Russian Helium Exports to China

After a period of minimal helium exports from Russia to China due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the non-operational status of the Amur plant, recent months have witnessed a resurgence in trade. In Oct'23, Russia exported record volumes of 7mmcf to China at an average price of US$425/mcf. The majority of this, ~5 mmcf, was directed to the Guangdong province, marking a substantial growth from its previous monthly import level of 1mmcf from Russia. It is also notable that overall, Guangdong has the third highest helium imports in China with a YTD average of 14mmcf/month, and in Oct'23, 45% of its imports came from Russia. The surge in volumes is attributed to the restart of Gazprom's Amur facility. The helium was traded with Russia at a YTD average of US$674/mcf but that is due to a couple of individual cargoes earlier in the year that sold at prices >US$1,000/mcf. Looking at the last six months, which have more consistent rates, prices have averaged at US$415/mcf which is in line with global trends.

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