Japan's Toshiba has begun operating its NAND flash production lines that were halted by a power outage in June, causing concern that it could worsen the ongoing supply glut.
Toshiba restarted its NAND flash production lines at the end of last month after a month-long shutdown. The company stopped two of its six production lines at Yokaichi Factory in Japan on June 15 due to a power outage. The plant produced NAND flashes not only for Toshiba but for Western Digital of the United States. Some analysts forecast that the power outage would reduce the world's NAND production by about 5 percent. As a result, NAND flash supply glut somewhat eased. Actually, the price of a 128 Gb MLC NAND flash rose 2.04 percent in July of this year.
Under these circumstances, some analysts say global NAND flash supply will increase as Toshiba has not only resumed the operation of the halted production lines but also restored the plant utilization rate which had been reduced by about 15 to 20 percent before the accident.
Industry watchers say that Toshiba’s ramping up of its NAND production is motivated by its IPO plan. Toshiba originally planned to go public on the Tokyo Stock Exchange at the beginning of this year, but postponed its IPO to the first quarter of next year due to a slowdown of the NAND flash industry caused by the U.S.-China trade dispute.
The problem is that such a move can be a negative factor in the NAND market. Recently, the NAND flash market has been gradually recovering thanks to voluntary and involuntary production cuts by Micron, SK Hynix and Toshiba.