Spot Register Hard drive shortages loom

Memory prices plummet and bounce

The Euro took its toll on the spot market last week, but Taiwanese brokers are taking up the slack. There's also movement, or lack of movement, let's say, on hard drives, writes Marco Fumagalli.

Memory

There were major changes in the market over the last week. Memory prices on the spot market plummeted significantly, with many overstock options available on the market.

After having reached the lowest point on Friday last week (US$40/43 for DIMM 64Mb PC-133) prices bounced back yesterday and today and are still recovering. The panic selling was mainly due to lower than expected sales forecasts for the fourth quarter, but since many chip manufacturers warned that production is already running at full capacity and there is no space for further increase of the output it's more than likely that the uptrend will continue for some time.

We have reports of strong buying activity in Taiwan by many key European brokers, while most of the European inventories weresold last week.

Today, 26 September, DIMM prices are as follows:
64/133 - $47
128/133 - $93/$95
256/133 - $210/$215

CPUs

Because of the small price difference, the Pentium III/733 is now considered as the entry level Intel processor, and is generally quoted around $180. Availability is good across the OEM channel and prices are very similar.

Hard Drives

There are concerns of a major shortage of Quantum drives over the coming month. Supplies are already somewhat erratic and shortages are already experienced for 7200rpm drives (especially for the 15GB LM).

It is very likely that shortages will occur also for entry-level 15GB LCT 4400rpm drives.

(A reader asks us whether that should be 5400 RPM, but Marco posts to our Forum, and posted a very interesting piece called quantum spins on the 11th of September which explores this piece of spinning in some detail.)

Prices were up slightly last week because of the weakness of the Euro currency. ®

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