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Supply worries trigger NAND flash price hike

Posted: 17 Mar 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:NAND flash? Japan? fab shutdowns? DRAM? memory chip?

Worries over limited supplies following the powerful earthquake that shook northeast Japan last Friday caused the spot price for NAND flash memories to leap by as much as 20 percent earlier this week.

Spot prices jumped on Monday between 10 and 20 percent, according to the Dramexchange service provided by TrendForce Corp.

Toshiba, the leading maker of NAND flash memory, announced on March 14 that it would close down manufacturing and business sites in response to a request from the Tokyo Electricity and Power Co. However, as Toshiba's Yokkaichi fabs are a considerable distance south of Tokyo and even further from the parts of the country worst-affected by the earthquake, it is not clear whether these plants will be affected by shutdowns.

In the DRAM spot market most suppliers stopped offering chips due to the uncertainty over the impact of the Japan earthquake. As a result the overall price rose more than 5 percent from early day trading.

While supplies could be constrained, particularly as some fabs may be subject to loss of electricity, so could demand at Japanese CE companies that use memory chips. As such the dynamic effect on supply and demand is not yet clear, although with so much equipment manufacturing now in China, the overall effect is expected to see supply fall behind demand.

- Peter Clarke
??EE Times

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