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Due to tight regulation of supply as well as increasing prices on the spot market, the contract price of dynamic random access memory (DRAM) also increased in the first half of December, 2012, according to DRAMeXchange, a research division of TrendForce. Still, memory prices remain on generally low levels due to slow demand by computer makers.

The market tracker observed on Thursday that contract module prices went on an uptrend in the first half of December thanks to stimulation from the spot prices. The average selling price of 4GB DDR3 memory module has increased to $15.5 per unit, or by 1.64%. The 2GB DDR3 module prices climbed 1.71% and approached $8.9.

At press time, one untested [eTT] 2Gb DDR3 chip cost $0.978 on average at Taiwan's spot market, 2Gb DDR3 1333MHz/1600MHz chip's price was approximately $1.074/$1.047, whereas 4Gb DDR3 1600MHz memory IC was priced at $2.202 on average on the spot market. It is noteworthy that spot prices increased considerably compared to those in the second half of November. Analysts believe that supplies of several product categories are being tightened, in effect leading to further pricing uptrend.

From the pricing angle, the fact that prices have not plunged even with the unpromising demand situation is indicative of both the PC OEM's hard efforts to adjust inventory to healthy levels, and of the fact that buyer momentum is gradually increasing.

On the supply side, DRAM makers are increasingly observed to be migrating towards the use of new manufacturing technologies. SK Hynix and Samsung are transitioning from the 30nm-class processes to the more difficult-to-handle 20nm-class processes. On the other hand, Micron Technology is gradually increasing its 30nm-class production capacity, and is currently in the process of transitioning to new manufacturing technology.

With the effects of the September production cuts beginning to take effect and assumed to continue, and with the manufacturing focal point tipping towards mobile DRAM, TrendForce predicts that the market will gradually see a demand-supply balance, and that PC DRAM’s pricing downtrend will come to a temporary halt at one point.

Tags: DRAM, Business, DDR2, DDR3, Samsung, SK Hynix, Micron, Elpida, Powerchip Semiconductor, Inotera, Nanya

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