DRAM prices have plummeted by two digits once again, dropping to the level three years ago. Instead, NAND flash prices rebounded for the first time in two years, kindling a hope for earnings growth of Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix.
Contract prices of DDR4 8 Gb DRAMs mainly used in PCs fell 11.2 percent from a month earlier (US$3.31) to an average of US$2.94, said DRAMExchange, a global market research firm, on July 31. They had dropped for seven consecutive months since the beginning of this year, and were the same as June 2016. Compared to US$8.19 of last September, which was the highest point of last year, they dropped 64 percent.
"DRAM spot prices surged 24 percent on average in July but it was not enough to reverse the trend," the report said. More than 90 percent of total DRAM transactions are based on contract prices, so fixed transaction priced determine the chip price trends.
On the other hand, 128 Mb multi-level cell (MLC) products, a general purpose NAND flash product used in solid state drives (SSDs) and USB drives, posted an average price of US$4.01, up 2.0 percent from the US$3.93.
Their prices have risen for the first time in two years since August 2017. However, it is still far below US$5.87, the highest price set in August 2017.
Some disruptions in supply caused by a shutdown of Toshiba's NAND flash production line in July contributed to price stability, DRAMExchange said. However, it is difficult to expect a sharp increase in prices, and a stable or gradual upward trend will appear, it added.