[News] After Memory Price Hike, Shortages Emerge in Some Products?

2023-12-12 未分類 editor

According to Economic Daily News’ report, after a prolonged period of economy downturn, the market has gradually become optimistic about memories. The effective production reduction by the top five memory manufacturers has led to an increase in memory prices.

This, in turn, has prompted downstream module manufacturers to actively increase their procurement efforts, resulting in shortages of certain products. Industry source indicates that manufacturers, including Samsung and Micron, are expressing intentions to raise prices.

Memory Manufacturers Keen to Raise Prices, Future Demand Monitoring Required

On December 7th, Western Digital had sent out price increase notifications to its customers. In the notification, Western Digital stated that the company would review hard drive product pricing weekly, anticipating a price increase in the first half of the coming year.

Regarding flash memory components, the company expects prices to cyclically increase over the next few quarters, with the cumulative increase likely surpassing 55% of current levels.

It’s worth noting that, at present, many in the industry are optimistic about the cessation and rebound of NAND chip prices. However, currently, suppliers are individually notifying customers of adjusted quotes. In this context, Western Digital has directly issued a price increase notice to customers, with an expected remarkable increase, marking the industry’s first comprehensive significant price hike.

Meanwhile, the latest financial reports of many companies in the memory industry chain show significant improvement compared to the previous period.

Samsung Electronics reported a net profit of KRW 5.5 trillion (approximately USD 4.17 billion) in Q3, transitioning from a loss to profitability. In early November, South Korean media Pulse, citing conversations with numerous insiders in the semiconductor industry, reported that as the Q4 inventory clearance phase nears its conclusion, Samsung is considering a sequential price increase of 20% for Q1 and Q2 of the coming year.

On December 11th, SSD controller chip manufacturer Phison announced its performance report for November, with consolidated revenue reaching NTD 5.407 billion (approximately USD 171.8 million), representing nearly a 5% monthly growth.

According to Phison, the total shipment volume of SSD controller chips continued to recover in November. Among them, the total shipment volume of PCIe SSD controller ICs is expected to grow by nearly 40% year-on-year, setting a new record for the same period in history. This further substantiates the news of a significant surge in the memory market.

In the latest financial report from memory module manufacturer ADATA, the company’s consolidated revenue for October was NTD 3.791 billion (approximately USD 120.4 million), reflecting a monthly increase of 13.43% and a year-on-year increase of 39.59%.

ADATA’s Chairman, Simon Chen, recently mentioned that they anticipate the completion of NAND Flash inventory clearance by the end of this year or the end of January next year. There is an expectation that both DRAM and NAND Flash may face supply shortages next year. 

In addition, DRAM manufacturer Nanya Technology observes a price increase in DDR5, while DDR4 prices have stabilized. There is an expectation of a slight improvement in DDR4 and DDR3 prices in the fourth quarter.

NAND Flash spot prices have surged since the end of September, driven by a collective production cut from suppliers. TrendForce analyst Avril Wu recently mentioned that Samsung’s production capacity has reduced by almost half from its peak, indicating that even cost-efficient manufacturers like Samsung can no longer endure losses. It is suggested that the average wafer price has likely passed its lowest point.

From the supply side, recent industry reports indicate that memory manufacturers are employing a “delaying tactic” in the supply of NAND Flash for the fourth quarter. Module manufacturers attempted to finalize orders for millions of chips in September, but memory manufacturers were reluctant to release the products, and even when they were willing, the quantities and prices were unsatisfactory. Meanwhile, Samsung is reportedly pausing quotations and shipments for NAND products.

Looking ahead to the fourth quarter, the estimated average selling price increase for all NAND Flash products is expected to reach 13%, with an overall quarter-over-quarter revenue growth rate of over 20% in the NAND Flash industry.

It is worth noting that according to TrendForce analyst Avril Wu, with demand not showing explosive growth, the market will be focused on three key considerations. First, after production cuts, the decline in memory manufacturers inventory levels has begun, but it remains to be seen whether inventory can continue to shift towards buyers.

Second, it is anticipated that memory manufacturers production capacity will slowly increase, and if the market warms up, an early resumption of capacity could lead to supply-demand imbalances again. Lastly, whether end-demand can meet expectations for a recovery, with a particular focus on the sustained orders related to AI, will be crucial.

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(Photo credit: Samsung)

Please note that this article cites information from Weibo.