R-134a Supply Disruptions May Affect the Market
Following the International Trade Commission November ruling against the Anti-Dumping Suit filed on R-134a, the refrigerant has experienced a tumultuous year. Two out of the four U.S. refrigerant manufacturers of R-134a have supply problems at this time. DuPont and Honeywell have both sent out notices during the past few months regarding delays with production and distribution.
In these notices, the companies cite a combination of plant issues and supply disruptions resulting in extended lead times with severe problems in availability of R134a and other refrigerant blends.
R-134a is a component for blends including R-404A, R-407A, R-407C and several others. Recent uptick in demand at the start of the season has caused spot shortages in certain areas, especially for emergency supply requests.
Airgas Refrigerants cautions customers that there may be spot supply disruptions for some of these items until production of R-134a returns to normal. Customers are well advised to plan in advance for potential delays in deliveries throughout the country. These problems will likely increase as the weather heats up and typical emergencies proliferate. Airgas Refrigerants has already seen some slight increases in market prices as a result of these spot shortages.