TrendForce expects that memory suppliers will continue their strategy of scaling back production of both DRAM and NAND Flash in 2024, with the cutback being particularly pronounced in the financially struggling NAND Flash sector. Market demand visibility for consumer electronic is projected to remain uncertain in 1H24.
TrendForce reports that continued production cuts by DRAM suppliers have led to a gradual quarterly decrease in overall DRAM supply. Seasonal demand, on the other hand, is helping to mitigate inventory pressure on suppliers. TrendForce projects that the third quarter will see the ASP for DRAM converging towards a 0~5% decline.
TrendForce’s latest research indicates that, as production cuts to DRAM and NAND Flash have not kept pace with weakening demand, the ASP of some products is expected to decline further in 2Q23. DRAM prices are projected to fall 13~18%; NAND Flash is expected to fall between 8~13%.
TrendForce reports that several suppliers, such as Micron and SK hynix, have started scaling back DRAM production. The ASP of DRAM plunged 20% in 1Q23, and this price decline is predicted to slow down to 10~15% next quarter.
However, the slump will have yet to reach the bottom at that time. Regarding the QoQ changes in the prices of the major categories of DRAM products for 1Q23, PC DRAM and server DRAM are projected to again register a drop that is near 20%. Conversely, mobile DRAM will experience the smallest price decline because its profit margin is ready the thinnest.
According to a TrendForce investigations, memory pricing began to decline from 4Q21 due to weakening demand for certain consumer electronics. Coupled with the impact of rising inflation, the Russian-Ukrainian war, and pandemic policies, demand in peak season was weak, resulting in inventory pressure that has extended from the buyer side to manufacturers. In response to the aforementioned situation, Micron announced last week that it would cut production of DRAM and NAND Flash, becoming the first major memory manufacturer to officially reduce its capacity utilization plan. In terms of NAND Flash, the market situation is more severe than that of DRAM. As the average contract price of mainstream capacity wafers has fallen to their cash cost and is approaching the periphery of selling at a loss for various manufacturers, Kioxia also announced that it will reduce NAND Flash capacity utilization by 30% from October on the heels of Micron’s announcement.
According to TrendForce, DRAM market demand bit growth will only amount to 8.3% in 2023, sub-10% for the first time in history, and far lower than supply-side bit growth of approximately 14.1%. Data indicates the DRAM market to be severely oversupplied at least in 2023 and prices may continue to decline. NAND Flash is still in a state of oversupply and, although prices are expected to fall in the first half of next year, NAND Flash has built-in price elasticity compared to DRAM and average prices are expected to stimulate density growth in the enterprise SSD market after declining for several consecutive quarters. Demand bits are expected to grow by 28.9%, while supply bits will grow by approximately 32.1%.
According to the latest TrendForce research, despite the rapid weakening of overall consumer demand in 1H22, DRAM manufacturers previously presented a tough stance on price negotiations and gave little ground, steadily conveying inventory pressure from buyers to sellers. Facing uncertain peak-season demand in 2H22, some DRAM suppliers have begun effectively expressing clear intentions to cut prices, especially in the server field, where demand is relatively stable, in order to reduce inventory pressure. This situation will cause 3Q22 DRAM pricing to drop from the previous 3~8% to nearly 10% QoQ. If a price war is incited due to companies competing for sales, the drop in prices may exceed 10%.