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While many firms in the PC world live and die by price lists, buying through authorised distribution and dealers and generally playing it safe, there's a continuous frenetic undercurrent in which key components are bought and sold.

This is the so-called Spot Market. Once a week, we're able to bring you these movements, thanks to Marco Fumagalli, of Akros-Italia srl, who tracks the prices of components on this important market on a day-to-day basis.

The infamous Euro has no place in these markets, which is dominated by the US dollar.

Memory

The price level for memories has remained relatively stable, compared to last week. Spot prices for the popular 8x8 SDRAM chips are at the $8.60/8.65 level, where they have stayed for a while. Contract prices for July have been recently settled at around $7.60. However, there's a lot of anticipation for a price hike which is due to hit the market any time now, with many predicting prices to be well above the $9.00 mark, with trading likely to start tomorrow. So far, very limited purchasing activity by big OEMs has forced prices to stay firm. Most of the stock appears to be in the hands of brokers, while manufacturer's inventories are said to be low. Popular DIMM modules in Europe were trading at this level on Friday:

  • 64Mb PC-100 OEM $64.00

  • 64Mb PC-100 MAJOR $68.00

  • 128Mb PC-100 OEM $128.00/130.00

  • 128Mb PC-100 MAJOR $135.00/138.00

  • 64Mb PC-133 OEM $66.00

  • 64Mb PC-133 MAJOR $69.00/$70.00

  • 128Mb PC-133 OEM $132.00

  • 128Mb PC-133 MAJOR $138.00/$140.00

Hard Drives

The seasonal weakness in sales, which is particularly marked this year, is forcing major OEMs and channel distributors to clear inventories as fast as possible. This is particularly evindent on Quantum drives (especially IDE 5400rpm and 7200rpm). The introduction of new ATA-100 models will speed the process. Prices are very low on the market, well below distribution prices.

CPUs

Forthcoming Intel price cuts (which happens today, Sunday) has forced many players (mostly OEMs) to clear their stocks, with a lot of offers in the beginning of this week, when offered prices were as low as $175.00 for the Pentium III 650/667 and $205/$210 for the Pentium III 700. (We have published these price changes ahead of time, but will confirm those details first thing Monday.)

Over Thursday and Frida, prices recovered, because available quantities of these products are still not as good as they should be. ®

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