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South Korean Volumes Drop in 2023 but Pricing Strengthens

South Korea accounts for ~7.5% of the global helium demand averaging around 450 mmcf/y over the last decade. In 2023, total import volumes dropped by 8% y/y to 463 mmcf; Qatari imports fell to 323 mmcf (-13% y/y), while US imports increased to 139 mmcf (+15% y/y). Prices, on the other hand, jumped 34% y/y to US$486/mcf. Both regions - Qatar and US increased pricing by 28% y/y following the global trend. South Korean demand is primarily driven by semiconductor manufacturing, which experienced a downturn in 2023. However, as new technologies continue to advance, demand for semiconductors is expected to rise, and this upward trend is anticipated to strengthen helium demand in 2024.

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