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The growth of DRAM [dynamic random access memory] contract price in February was as strong as it was in January, according to DRAMeXchange, a research division of TrendForce. The reason for the increase of the price was not due to rise of demand, but due to reduction of memory manufacturing by leading producers.

The contract price of DDR3 1600MHz 4GB module grew by approximately 11%, approaching $19.75 on average and reaching up to as high as $20. Prices for DDR3 2GB modules, similarly, rose by nearly 13% month-on-month and surpassed the $11 threshold. On the spot market, prices showed similar trends as the contract prices: 2Gb DDR3 1600MHz chip got 8% more expensive in February.

At press time, one untested [eTT] 2Gb DDR3 chip cost $1.26 on average at Taiwan's spot market, 2Gb DDR3 1333MHz/1600MHz chip's price was approximately $1.49/$1.41, whereas 4Gb DDR3 1600MHz memory IC was priced at $2.54 on average on the spot market, a considerable increase compared to early February.

DRAM manufacturers are sticking to the original plan of gradually reducing PC DRAM and allocating capacity towards the more profitable mobile and server memory types, according to the market tracking firm.

Even if PC shipments end up being weaker than they were last year and average content per unit (from 4.1GB per PC to 4.7GB per PC) shows very little growth, PC OEMs are still concerned over a potential PC DRAM shortage, and have taken the rare effort to increase inventory during the off-peak season. These manufacturers are currently more tolerant towards the contract prices in a bid to ensure a stable supply for the peak quarters.

In case the current pricing trends for DRAM continue, DDR3 4GB prices will reach $25 during the second half of 2013.

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

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