By Zeke Jennings | Managing Editor
Balloon retailers are well aware of the helium market’s volatility.
Demand for the gas continues to rise as its uses in the medical and scientific fields grows. Meanwhile, the U.S. government is in the process of depleting the Federal Helium Reserve in Texas, putting pressure on private distributors to find alternative sources.
While there was a noticeable shortage of helium approximately five years ago, balloon retailers haven’t had too much trouble keeping enough on hand to satisfy their customers in recent years.
Things have turned problematic in 2018, however.
Recent news reports out of Atlanta and Birmingham, Alabama, have some retailers in those areas running short, as distributors have tighten up allocations.
Through an online poll, Party & Halloween Retailer asked its readers if they’ve come up short on helium yet this year. A little more than half of those that responded said they have.