Hynix, Samsung up contract RAM prices by 10-20%

PC sales on the rise?

Korean memory makers Samsung and Hynix today said they are now charging their largest customers - primarily big-name PC makers, consumer electronics companies and the larger memory add-in suppliers - more than they were last month.

Samsung said today that December's contract prices will be up ten per cent on November's figures - enough to knock tens of millions of dollars off the company's monthly losses. Hynix - which needs the money rather more desperately than Samsung does - said it will put up prices by as much as 20 per cent.

Memory manufacturers' direct sales to high-volume buyers - the so-called 'contract market' - is different from the open, spot market. Contract prices are determined by who is buying, what kind of volume discount they can negotiate, how long the contract is set to run and other such factors.

Given the kind of buyers involved in the contract market, some observers see higher contract prices as a sign of increased demand from the major PC vendors - in turn, an indication the PC sales are on the up.

It's probably too soon to say that's the case for sure - the contract price rises may simply be a response to recent rises in spot prices, and given the state of the memory market right now, they could fall again. ®