Shares of Taiwan’s major chipmakers surged yesterday on expectations that a powerful quake that rocked Japan on Friday could cause a supply constraint as a number of chipmakers and their raw material providers suspended production for damage checks.
Concern over a supply shortage lifted the price of mainstream DRAM, or DDR3 2Gb, by 6.75 percent to US$1.95 per unit as of 6pm yesterday, according to Taipei-based price tracker TrendForce Corp (集邦科技).
“We expect PC makers to become more aggressive in increasing their safe inventory to ensure sufficient supply,” a TrendForce public relations officer said by telephone yesterday.
“Prices have started rising in China. We have also found that Chinese companies are turning to Taiwanese firms for chip supply [to boost their inventories],” the official said.
The share price of the nation’s top DRAM maker, Nanya Technology Corp (南亞科技), rose 2.58 percent to NT15.90. Powerchip Technology Corp (力晶科技) and ProMOS Technologies Inc (茂德科技), which primarily sell their products on the spot market, also saw their share prices jump 6.97 percent and 4.42 percent to NT$6.45 and NT$1.89 respectively.
The TAIEX dropped 0.56 percent yesterday.
TrendForce said chip companies — including South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co and Hynix Semiconductor Inc and Taiwan’s Powerchip and ProMOS — had stopped providing price updates as they were assessing the impact of Japan’s earthquake on supply and demand.
“We believe there will only be a short-term impact because most Japanese chipmakers’ facilities are located far from the epicenter and Japan’s transportation system should resume soon, which would help chip exports,” TrendForce said.
Japanese companies accounted for 13.6 percent of global DRAM supply and 35.7 percent of NAND flash supply in the fourth quarter of last year.
The spot price for NAND flash, a type of memory chip widely used in consumer electronics such as mobile phones, spiked 20.48 percent to US$6.06 per unit yesterday, as production at one of Toshiba’s NAND flash plants may have been severely affected by the quake, TrendForce said on its Web site.
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