DRAM prices continue to fluctuate

DRAM prices continue to fluctuate

Month-end pressure has seen DRAM prices drop by 15 per cent, according to Synnex.

Flying in the face of recent scare stories, the national distributor’s memory product manager, Yu-Chen, said generic DRAM had fallen from a spot price height of $US52 in January to $US39 by mid April.

DDR had also fallen by about 25 per cent from a high of $US52 to $US40 during the same period.

A/NZ country manager for Kingston Technologies, Keith Hamilton, said the speculation and hype surrounding future DRAM demand had eased somewhat in recent weeks and estimated that prices had fallen by 12-15 per cent.

He said there were several reasons why the memory market had experienced a 50 per cent plus increase in the price of DDR since the start of the year, including the transferral of DRAM chip manufacturing capacity to the more profitable flash memory lines because of growing demand.

The new 0.11 micron manufacturing process was also a factor, producing lower than expected DRAM chip yields, according to Hamilton.

DRAM manufacturers were also increasing supply to the contract market, which meant large PC OEMs and module makers were leaving less DRAM for the spot market.

Managing director of memory distributor Simms International, Danny Moore, said: “There will be strong OEM demand well into Q3. Contract pricing is steady and the problems with supply have sorted themselves out.”

Moore said that a refresh on equipment by corporations would sustain or even increase prices, but emphasised that business confidence and healthy IT budgets were also responsible.

On a minor level, Hamilton said that DRAM manufacturers were transferring to higher density chips. Yu-Chen said this trend was overstated as the process was still not mature.

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