National Helium Shortage
IN THE NEWS:
For the past year and growing, there is a massive nation-wide helium shortage and because of this the cost of helium has increased as much as 50% in some places, if places can even get it at all! You may have witnessed your local grocery and dollar stores, and even party stores without helium for a week or more at a time.
For us, we’ve not been able to get helium delivered to us from our regular supplier since before October. In the past few months, we’ve coveted the helium we had. To fulfill orders, we’ve driven as far as a 4-hour trip for helium pickup and we’ve reached out to the area suppliers to start accounts. All said they couldn’t accept any new customers right now, except for one. For that supplier, we’re grateful. Our helium costs have increased by 40% and we have had to inflate the helium-filled arrangements’ price understandably.
What you paid for a standard helium bouquet in summer 2018 is not the same price you’d pay now for the same bouquet. As prices for helium lessen, we will deflate our prices accordingly and happily. We also will continue to encourage air-filled designs whenever possible and work with you to get the effect you want for your budget (which may or may not include helium designs).
Air-filled designs are wonderful and in no way a secondary choice as air is used far more than you would think in designs because… we can do cool things. For a balloon on a string, however, helium is still needed. Professionals in our industry are working diligently on new solutions that allow us to create the bouquet effect of helium balloons, but all air-filled.
Professionals are testing new ideas now and Eye Candy Balloons is signed up to receive the solution we can provide and pass along to our clients when the tests are complete and the solutions have all checked out.
While it’s been admittedly a bit stressful in our business as we try to mitigate client’s needs against what is viable in the industry, we are constantly working on problem solving for us and our clients and doing what it takes to get what we need to create a great end result for our clients and their events.
As of now, there is no idea when the shortage will end and prices will lower. Research has shown very different answers with a general consensus through 2019.
Helium in the medical field:
“For many industrial applications, there is no substitute for relatively inexpensive helium. It is vital in aerospace and defense technologies, high-tech manufacturing, rocket engine testing, welding, commercial diving, magnets in particle accelerators, the production of fiber optic cables, and semi-conductor chips found in your cell phone.
However, it turns out that the single biggest use of helium is to support our medical imaging industry, specifically magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, and high-end material analytics take advantage of very high magnetic fields to make the nuclear magnetic resonance, or NMR, spectroscopy measurements. Those fields would not be possible to generate without liquid helium’s ultra-low boiling point.” (Yahoo article below)
Helium Summit 2018: https://www.gasworld.com/global-helium-summit-2018-closes/2015512.article
Article: https://www.yahoo.com/news/helium-gas-running-bad-news-150200232.html (We do NOT support releasing helium balloons into the environment any time.)