TrendForce reports that Q4 contract prices for mobile DRAM are poised to see an increased quarterly rise of 13–18%. But that’s not all—NAND Flash is also joining the party, with contract prices of eMMC and UFS expected to climb by approximately 10–15% in the same quarter. This quarter is set to star mobile DRAM, traditionally the underperformer in profit margins compared to its DRAM counterparts, as it takes the lead in this round of price increases.
TrendForce research indicates a significant rise in NAND Flash contract prices in the fourth quarter, with an anticipated hike of approximately 8~13%. This increase has been largely attributed to stringent production controls exercised by suppliers.
TrendForce’s latest research paints a vivid picture: Q2 saw the NAND Flash market still grappling with lackluster demand and being significantly outpaced by supply. The ASP of NAND Flash also took a hit, tumbling 10–15%. Nevertheless, there was a silver lining as bit shipments grew by 19.9% QoQ from a low baseline in 1Q23. To sum up, the Q2 landscape of the NAND Flash sector witnessed a 7.4% QoQ growth in revenue, reaching US$9.338 billion.
Recently, the spot market for NAND Flash chips has seen a rise in active price inquiries for certain products, a movement driven by successful increases in wafer contract prices. TrendForce reports this uptick primarily stems from negotiations in late August between NAND Flash suppliers and key Chinese module makers. These discussions led to a new wafer contract that successfully boosted the price of 512 Gb wafers by approximately 10%.
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 predicts that NAND Flash wafers will be the first to see a price hike in 3Q23 as prices for module products such as SSDs, eMMCs, and UFS will likely continue to fall due to tepid downstream demand. Consequently, the overall ASP of NAND Flash is forecast to continue dropping by about 3~8% in 3Q23, though a possibility exists prices may recover in 4Q23.
TrendForce research reveals that following significant production reductions by US and Korean manufacturers beginning in May, some suppliers have increased their wafer prices. This development has led to a slight elevation of market prices in China compared to those seen in March and April.
TrendForce’s recent analysis reveals that purchasing momentum in the NAND Flash market has decelerated during 1Q23. Despite suppliers aggressively slashing prices to stimulate sales, the bit shipment volume of NAND Flash witnessed only a marginal growth of 2.1% over the quarter. Coupled with a 15% drop in ASP, the NAND Flash industry registered a QoQ revenue decrease of 16.1%, amounting to about US$8.63 billion.
Although NAND suppliers have continued to roll back production, there is still an oversupply of NAND Flash as demand for products such as servers, smartphones, and notebooks is still too weak. Therefore, TrendForce predicts that the ASP of NAND Flash will continue to fall in 2Q23