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White knuckle SDRAM ride gets scarier

Trading grinds to halt as typhoon hits HK

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Updated Reports reach us that prices of 128Mb synchronous memory dropped by a staggering $30 plus over the last 12 hours. But prices of the 64Mb parts have stayed relatively stable, with no significant cuts during the same period. US firm London Computers Inc was last night selling 128Mb parts for $168 on Buy.com, with others trading at around $170 or so. That's a massive drop on the market spot-rate -- currently $220. However, London's prices don't bear very close inspection. You can only place an order for one DRAM part. Try and buy 100 at this price and the counter is set back to one. In other words, this is a loss leader. For more than one part, London is charging $220 per unit. However, there is quite a lot of DRAM trading going on -- in Europe, at any rate -- where DRAM is changing hands for less than the current market rate, Richard Goddard, MD of GSI, the UK's biggest memory broker reveals. "The going price [for 128Mb DRAM] was £143-145, yesterday. But trades were going on at £139-140. Some brokers need their money back, so they are selling at less than replacement cost." He advised PC builders to adjust their prices upwards to reflect rising DRAM prices. "Often they buy two or three weeks of stock at a time, and they are getting caught out by rising prices when they come back to order more." Meanwhile, the raw cost of DRAM rose 20 cents yesterday to $15.40-15.50 per part. Trading volumes for DRAM are very weak today -- trading has ground to a halt in Hong Kong, a major centre for memory broking, while the populace braces itself for a typhoon. ®

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