By Jim Knapp, Coolfront Trade Specialist
The cooling season of 2017 has begun. And just to get us off to a rough start, the price of refrigerants is going crazy. We already know about R-22 and the reason it is going to spiral up in price as it continues to get phased out of production. But, as most of you know by now, prices on refrigerant blends (HFCs) are also going up; almost daily. The price of R-410A has been especially affected, almost doubling this month.
There are two global factors causing these price increases. The first is that there is a shortage of R-125 around the world. R-125 is a component in R-410A and in most of the HFC refrigerant blends. Since R-410A is the most used of the HFCs its price has gone up the most. You can expect any refrigerant that has R-125 as one of its components to see price increases throughout the summer of 2017 (that includes most of the R400 series of blends).
The other cause of price increases for blended refrigerants is that a petition has been filed with the Department of Commerce against China for dumping HFC blends on the American market. The extra import duties that this causes on HFC blends are also pushing the price up and availability down.
To keep up with price fluctuations in the past Coolfront has checked and adjusted refrigerant pricing every month. If it becomes necessary we will check and modify the pricing more often to keep up with the changing market.