Following on from our earlier notifications regarding the global supply of helium, we continue to feel the effects. 
Many members will have received a letter from BOC advising that with immediate effect, there will be an environmental and energy surcharge on all balloon gas supplied as well as in increase in price by 15% on 1st August 2012.
NABAS has received the following statements:
From BOC: “The global helium supply position is still very challenging and the availability of balloon gas has remained low for some time. Despite this, we are continuing to maintain supplies to our customers.”
From Air Products: “Air Products Helium Supply - London, UK (July 20, 2012) – Air Products (NYSE:APD) would like to take this opportunity to apologise to any NABAS members who may have experienced some disruption to the fulfilment of their orders.   The helium industry is dependent on a small number of sources worldwide which are operating at near capacity and therefore demand continues to outstrip supply capability. We regret any inconvenience they may be experiencing when unable to obtain supplies, but hope that they understand the difficulties faced by the helium industry in general.   We expect the situation to last for a number of weeks and understand the disruption this may cause, but assure customers that we are doing everything in our power to restore supply chain integrity and stocks.”
In the meantime we recommend you give as much forward notice as possible to your gas supplier  (approx. three weeks), and would also encourage you to expand your portfolio with more air filled décor and the use of 60/40 helium inflators for larger sized balloons.   Planning and good sense should be used and hoarding of excess cylinders is discouraged.