As it is still unclear whether Elpida will survive its financial crisis, the dynamic random access memory (DRAM) market is taking a wait-and-see approach, and contract price negotiations have been more conservative than usual, according to the latest research by DRAMeXchange, a division of TrendForce
Contract price for the first half of March still reflects the uncertainty surrounding DRAM supply. Module price is climbing steadily – average 4GB module price increased 5.7% to $18.5, while highest price was $18.75. Average 2GB module price was $10.25, up 5.13% from $9.75. Mainstream DDR3 2Gb chip's contract price exceeded $1 for the first time this year.
With a $6.23 billion debt, regardless of whether Elpida withdraws from the market or continues on after making changes, the manufacturer’s troubles will surely impact and cause some reshuffling on the DRAM market.
Around two weeks after Elpida filed for bankruptcy protection in late February, DDR3 2Gb 1333MHz chip average selling price has only increased by 11% - with several fluctuations throughout the period, there is no clear uptrend in concluded transaction price. Reflecting currently weak market demand, price quote and purchasing momentum has not been strong. Under the gloomy circumstances, while sellers have attempted to increase price quotes, there is just not enough demand.
TrendForce believes, both buyers and sellers are basing their future price negotiation strategies on whether or not the Japanese government decides to bail out Elpida. As the third largest DRAM market share holder, Elpida’s fate, as well as their capacity allocation, will have a significant impact on the DRAM price trend.