Micron Targets Low-Priced Products to Halt Memory Price Decline: TrendForce

2023-04-28 Semiconductors editor

Amid a prolonged market downturn and persistent weakness in end demand, the world’s top three memory chipmakers – Samsung, SK Hynix, and Micron – have implemented production cuts in an effort to control the continuing decline in memory prices through supply management. Recently, news emerged in the memory channel market that Micron had notified its customers that starting in May, it will not accept inquiries for DRAM and NAND Flash below current market prices.

According to TrendForce, the situation is not widespread at the moment, but is limited to low-priced memory chips. As for other product categories with high inventory levels, they still cannot avoid the situation of falling prices.

Contract market:

Although DRAM suppliers have actively reduced production, the output bit volume has not yet reached an effective convergence in 2Q23, so the quarterly contract price decline will be greater than originally expected, with an expected drop of more than 15%. TrendForce has observed that there is a strong wait-and-see atmosphere on the OEM side. While the willingness to purchase DRAM has increased, the premise of the deal is that low-priced quotes are attractive enough to OEMs. Due to poor demand prospects, the purchasing behavior of buyers still appears to be passive.

Spot market:

TrendForce pointed out that Micron’s subsidiary brand, Spectek, has slightly raised prices for its products this week, especially in the low-priced chip segment, indicating a reluctance to further reduce prices. Therefore, trading in the spot market appears stagnant, similar to the strong wait-and-see attitude mentioned in the contract market.

As suppliers have already entered a stage of significant losses, it is necessary to continue to expand production cuts to avoid prices from collapsing again. Among them, DDR4 still has a price decline due to high inventory levels and weak demand, while the supply of DDR5 is limited by the PMIC compatibility issue, resulting in an upward trend in spot prices.