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Report: Memory spot prices pick up

Posted: 24 Dec 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:memory spot price? DRAM? NAND?

Spot prices for DRAM and NAND parts showed increases for the week ending Dec. 19 on news of production cutbacks, according to a report by Gartner Inc.

Gartner said spot pricing for mainstream DRAM parts declined in the first half of last week, but experienced sharp increases in the second half of the week on news that South Korea's Hynix Semiconductor intends to cut back production by 20 to 30 percent.

Prices for 1Gbit devices were up as much as 18 percent over the previous week but the increase amounted to only 10 cents per part and left commodity DRAM parts below $1 and below cost for most manufacturers.

Because of the pricing bounce, average spot pricing across all densities and technologies was up 10.9 percent compared with the previous week, standing at 87 cents on a 1Gbit equivalent basis, Gartner said.

The report added that the Hynix production cuts help the market but that further DRAM production cutbacks are likely until pricing corrects itself, or players will be taken over or forced into bankruptcy.

Gartner's Q4 DRAM supply and demand analysis projects DRAM megabyte demand growth of 41.7 percent in 2009. But the firm said megabyte demand growth would likely be lower, 35 percent, with the likelihood that PC unit production will decline 5 percent next year.

In the NAND flash market, recent spot prices increased across all commodity densities and propelled overall prices higher for the first time since early June, Gartner said. Higher prices were led by the 8Gbit MLC part, which posted a gain of more than 12 percent, followed closely by the 16Gbit and 4Gbit MLC parts, the firm said.

Overall, weighted NAND spot pricing rose 5 cents to stand at 95 cents on the 1Gbit average, Gartner said, adding that spot prices were influenced by the closure or reduction in capacity of fabs from Toshiba, Hynix and Micron during the last two weeks of the year.

There is concern about high NAND inventory levels throughout the supply chain and whether they will sell through leading into 2009, according to Gartner. Although deep concerns remain for Q1 09, supply-side reductions are finally having a meaningful impact, Gartner said.

- Dylan McGrath
EE Times

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