DRAM prices could drop slightly this quarter because of sluggish demand and increasing supply from SK Hynix Inc, ending a months-long price uptick due to tight supply, local market researcher TrendForce Corp (集邦科技) said in a report yesterday.
DRAM chipmakers again agreed to hold DRAM contract prices steady for the first half of this month during the bimonthly negotiations with their clients, mostly PC makers, according to the pricing information provided by TrendForce.
However, chipmakers “are under pricing pressure as demand weakens in the slack season,” the report said.
In addition, SK Hynix, the world’s No. 2 memorychip maker, began shipping chips from its fire-damaged plant in Wuxi, China, this month, which is “helping ease a supply constraint,” TrendForce said.
SK Hynix restored part of the plant’s capacity, about 30,000 wafers a month, last month and has increased its DRAM chip supply from plants in South Korea, TrendForce said.
SK Hynix aims to boost its supply to the same level the Wuxi plant produced before the fire, it said.
The Wuxi plant, which has a monthly capacity of 130,000 wafers, is expected to be fully back in operation by next quarter, TrendForce said.
The movement of DRAM spot prices clearly reflected a downtrend in prices, the report said.
The price of mainstream 2Gb chips fell 9.2 percent to US$1.98 per unit from a high of US$2.8 early this month, TrendForce said.
The price of 4Gb chips declined 3.4 percent to below US$4 per unit during the same period, it said.
Nanya Technology Corp (南亞科技), the nation’s top DRAM chipmaker, said last month that it expected DRAM prices to remain flattish, or even to rise modestly this quarter from last quarter, citing supply constraint.
Next year, global DRAM capacities are expected to grow 28 percent annually, much slower than the 50 percent growth during the industry’s peak, TrendForce forecast. That would help stabilize the DRAM industry, it said.