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Crisis hits market once more

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English language newspaper The Korea Herald is reporting that prices of memory chips are dropping through the floor. Quoting a Ministry of Commerce spokesman, the Herald says that spot prices of 64Mbit parts are hovering around the $9 level but could drop to $8 apiece. And it's SDRAM which is giving most cause for concern. Eight by eight chips have dropped to just over $6. Richard Gordon, senior semiconductor memory analyst at Dataquest Europe, said: "We saw Q4 and Q1 pricing as being reasonably stable but in the middle of Q1 they went down significantly." He said the PC-100 parts cost around $9 but was heading towards $7. "It's as little as $6 on the spot market," he said. Part of the reason for the prices dropping was because US company Micron had aggressively ramped during the year. "It's because they have a very low die size and they're flooding the market," Gordon said. He said Dataquest had expected more stability through 1999. "It looks like they'll stabilise at $6 or $7 in the contract market." ®

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