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DRAM prices go through roof

128Mb DIMMS now selling for £200

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DRAM prices were reaching dizzy heights this morning following uncertainty caused by the Taiwanese earthquake, with 128MB DIMMs nudging £200. Dane-Elec was pricing 128MB modules (PC 100) at £195 plus VAT, and 64MB modules at £97. Yesterday the market saw the price of 128MB modules (PC 100) surge by up to 20 per cent, according to some systems builders. Quotes were as high as £198 plus VAT by late afternoon, from £169 at the start of the day, according to PC builder Carrera. There was a similar hike for 64MB DIMMs, rising from £80 to up to £99 plus VAT during the day's trading. Prices have doubled in one month, and quadrupled since July, when you could pick these modules up for around £45 and £22 respectively. And if only we had. Colin Collier, Carrera MD, yesterday afternoon said: "DRAM prices seem to be going up by the minute." Richard Goddard, MD of memory distributor GSI, told a similar story yesterday. "We were definitely seeing smaller quantities being sold in the late 190s [pounds] this afternoon." "We've had a small influx of orders, but next week is when the really busy period will start," he said. "The problem is actually pinning down the extent of how production has been affected by the earthquake. "Are people really going to buy PCs if there is an extra £200 stuck on the price?" And rumours of shortages were rife, with Goddard saying manufacturers in the Far East had warned of a $16 price hike on 128MB DIMMs over the weekend. But he said that Europe was largely not willing to take on these price rises, seeming to think that prices would stabilise or drop over the weekend. "But I'm not so sure about this," said Goddard. Alan Stanley, Dane-Elec general manager, confirmed that many orders throughout the industry were not being met in full. "At the moment, most people are limiting what they sell," said Stanley. Dane-Elec had been told that Taiwan would lose around two weeks' worth of manufacturing. "There's only one thing for certain at the moment," said Stanley. "Prices certainly aren't going to go down." ®

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