DRAM prices up 13% on the Korea-Japan trade spat

2019.07.15 15:39:44

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Prices of dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chips gained as much as 13 percent in a week on concerns about supply disruption at Korean chipmakers responsible for more than 70 percent of DRAM global supplies following Japan’s export curbs on materials needed for chip production.

According to market researcher DRAMeXchange and industry sources on Monday, the average price of 8-gigabit DRAM DDR4 modules, a benchmark for global DRAM price, rose 7.6 percent to $3.26 on July 12 from $3.03 recorded on July 5.

The price of 4-gigabit DRAM DDR3 modules jumped 12.7 percent to $1.60 over the cited period after gaining 3.5 percent on July 10, 4.7 percent on July 11 and 3.9 percent on July 12.

The price of NAND flash memory that is commonly used as storages medium for mobile devices such as smartphones also rebounded. The average price of 64-gigabit MLC added 2.8 percent to $2.42 in a week, while the price of 256-gigabit TLC remained unchanged at $2.94.

Chip prices are rising due largely to the mix of base effect and stocking on fears of supply disruption at Korean chipmakers following Japan’s restriction on exports to Korea of three materials crucial to the production of memory chips, according to industry experts.

Some even expect the prices would keep rising on growing uncertainties from the trade spat, on top of the recent shutdown of Toshiba Memory Corp.’s chip manufacturing line in Mie Prefecture, Japan due to power outage.

The downside in supply-end news comes as Samsung Electronics Co. and SK Hynix Inc. have been moderating inventories and facility investment as the industry entered a bust phase this year.

By Hwang Soon-min and Lee Ha-yeon

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