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DRAM contract prices continued to rise in North America and Europe from mid-April to mid-May.

The 30-day rolling average price to May 19 of 128MB DRAM chips was up 2.4 per cent on the previous month to $12.78 in the European market, asiabiztech.com reported.

Large volume users in North America saw prices rise 0.3 per cent to $14.70, while Asia saw prices drop 1.9 per cent to $11.25, according to figures based on an ICIS-LOR survey.

Prices of 128MB DIMMs dropped on the spot market for the period in all three geographical areas. Spot prices in the US dropped 0.3 per cent to $110.36, 1.2 per cent to $104.93 in Europe, and 0.32 per cent to $98.64 in Asia.

Today the UK was seeing 128MB module prices on the spot market of $116, compared to around $108 a week ago, according to memory distibutor Dane-Elec.

The price rise started late last week, and prices look like staying up, the company said.

Meanwhile a Daewoo Securities report has warned that DRAM shortages will worsen in the run up to the fourth quarter.

One analyst at the company told the Korea Herald: "Samsung Electronics has only 1-2 weeks of supply, far below the appropriate inventory level of 4-5 weeks, and the shortage will get worse as manufacturers prepare for the Christmas season in the third quarter."

He reckoned a 30 per cent increase in DRAM chip prices would make Samsung and Hyundai Electronics an extra $1 billion in profits over the first half of the year. ®

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