Volatility in Demand Raises Helium Prices in Qatar in Q1 2023
- 26-Apr-2023 2:13 PM
- Journalist: Nicholas Seifield
Doha: First quarter of 2023 showcased fluctuating behavior in the prices of natural gas, consequently impacting the overall prices of Helium in the domestic Qatar market. Qatar became the primary source for exporting Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) and its derived gases to European countries, especially after the Russian military action and sanctions applied by the European countries as the counter step. Moreover, the extraction of Helium and its transportation increases the cost pressure on the suppliers and the buyers, showcasing its proportionate impact on the overall prices of Helium.
As compared with the previous year, Qatar continued to export gas to European countries amidst the energy market instability in the domestic and international markets. Contract rates were higher in the third month of 2023 compared to the same month a year before. An approximate inclination of 3% in cargo export was witnessed from Qatar to the European countries, significantly impacting the overall selling prices of Helium in the domestic and international markets. Starting the Q1 of 2023, the prices witnessed a slight decline as the country witnessed low demand, and Qatar focussed on completing the pending backlogs post the FIFA world cup that occurred in the previous quarter. Moreover, Helium raw material (Natural Gas) prices remained on the lower edge amidst the sufficient stockpile with the end-use manufacturing units.
Towards the quarter end, the international market witnessed a tight supply of Helium, scaring the healthcare department as Helium has major applications in the operation of MRI machines. Furthermore, amidst the inclined demand, Gulf countries announced a hike in the exporting prices of gas. As a ripple effect, a sudden surge in the prices of Helium was witnessed in the domestic market, along with higher delivery charges. As per ChemAnalyst, Helium prices may continue to incline in the upcoming quarter, accompanied by narrowed supply criteria and an inclined demand outlook for the product from domestic and international markets.