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DRAM bounces back (maybe)

Sellers exercise more control

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DRAM spot prices have surged unexpectedly in the last five days.

The upswing accelerated today, showing a 128MB 133MHz SDRAM chip closing in on a $1.75 average spot price.

Accoridng to DRAMeXchange, major DRAM producers began controlling shipments last week, pushing prices up. It says that prices should start to stabilise as they approaches two dollars, which is closer to manufacturer cost price.

The changes will flow quickly through the channel, meaning end-users will see prices jumping rapidly as OEMs and retailers refresh their stock.

Readers from the Netherlands and Canada have confirmed this, saying that prices have "doubled" and "spiked up to 40 per cent in one day", respectively. A Dutch retailer has already pushed its 128MB SDRAM price from 16 Euros ($14) to 30 Euros ($26).

Motivation for the sudden change is difficult to confirm, although there is always a seasonal upswing at this time of year, as system builders stock up for their Christmas orders.

Hynix today denied rumours that it is selling off some of its production factories, although it confirmed that it is talking with a consortium to flog one of its non-memory plants, according to EBN.

Taiwan-based DRAM producer Vanguard has confirmed that it will stop making own-brand products, a possible contribution to the hikes.

Last week, the Semiconductor Industry Association produced a report predicting a 16 per cent DRAM growth next year, with greater gains in the years beyond. This is in sharp contrast to reports from Gartner which forecasts a market decline of 19 per cent next year. ®

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