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First increase since September

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DRAM prices have rebounded for the first time in six months. Spot market prices have increased around 30 per cent since Friday for PC-100 modules. Memory Corp and Dane-Elec were yesterday selling 128MB DIMMs at around $110, compared to $85 on Friday. Distributor GSI was this morning quoting $98 for a 128MB, and $52 for a 64MB module. This is the first memory price increase since September, when prices nudged the $300 mark for 128MB DIMMs in the wake of Taiwanese earthquake. Since October, prices have fallen steadily. There are many rumours circulating in the industry for the reasons behind the price hikes - some no doubt started by distributors keen to cash in on the rise. There doesn't appear to be a chip shortage - manufacturers are still able to meet demand. But demand is starting to catch up with supply. And some distributors' stocks do appear to be low, which has prompted fears that manufacturers and OEMs are ramping up prices to compensate for selling below cost in recent months. There are also reports from Asia of a printed circuit board shortage, which is causing problems for the assembly houses. Distributors in the UK described the increase as "a blip". Prices seem to have levelled off today, but they are likely to rise again after the weekend. Micron and the Japanese fabs look set to up chip prices to $6.10, and Hyundai to $6.20 next week, one source said. Prices today are $5.90. ® Related Stories DRAM prices go through roof DRAM prices start to drop Taiwan quake sees DRAM prices rise

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