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NAND flash and DRAM chip prices may rebound shortly

by Mark Tyson on 17 July 2019, 11:11

Tags: Adata (3260.TWO), Team Group

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Commodity prices, stocks, exchange rates and so on may establish pretty reliable trends over extended periods but there are almost always times when the applecart gets upset, at least for a short time. In the computer world we are currently enjoying seeing SSD storage prices and computer RAM modules prices trending to attractive all-time lows for consumers, but there are industry-sourced reports suggesting we could see prices rebound, at least in the short term.

Taiwan's DigiTimes has been talking with its industry sources this week about NAND and DRAM chips, and the products they go into. The journal reports that it has been tipped off that Taiwanese memory module makers like Adata Technology, Phison Electronics and Team Group "are mulling a 10-15 per cent hike in SSD prices and enforcing a limited-supply policy". That doesn't sound good for consumers.

I am not well read in Taiwanese or international business law but the above sounds a bit like anti-competitive collusion, or cartel-like behaviour, in an attempt to maintain or increase prices for consumers. Previous component price fixing behaviour, when uncovered, has lead to fines and so on for the participants. Looking back in HEXUS news archives the most recent action taken against DRAM industry price fixers was by China in 2017. Even further back there have been big fines from the EU for DRAM, CRT and LCD monitor price fixers reported this decade.

Moving further along the DigiTimes report, its industry sources are also seeing "growing expectations that both NAND flash and DRAM chip prices may rebound in the short term". With the intended 10 to 15 per cent SSD price hike added to this rebound, prices could become unpleasantly high for consumer in coming weeks/months.

One has to question the market power of a trio of Taiwanese memory module makers. It is likely far too much to expect the named companies to be able to impact market pricing trends against the forces of global supply and demand - and the existence of other large electronics corporations which will fill the gap if these companies price their wares higher.

HEXUS Forums :: 12 Comments

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Probably a good thing I just splashed some cash on a Samsung 970 EVO+ 1TB SSD and 4x Samsung M391A2K43BB1-CTD 16GB ECC DDR4 modules. The price was so good I couldn't help myself, even though I'm not quite ready to build a new rig yet.
Or this could be a clever ploy to get people and companies to purchase more to clear inventory.
Isn't limiting supply technically price fixing by artificially restricting supply… why isn't anyone going after them like they have other companies in the past.
As mentioned in the article, how much market influence do Adata, Phison and Team Group really have? They could just end up pricing themselves out of the market with a stunt like this if others don't follow suit. Phison controllers are used by other companies but there are alternatives, but AFAIK ADATA and Team Group just brand end products, not any sort of IC in the supply chain?
Isn't limiting supply technically price fixing by artificially restricting supply… why isn't anyone going after them like they have other companies in the past.

It'll take years for it to be factually proven to affect the market. Unless it negatively affects the market, there is no case.