Samsung raises DRAM prices, keeps schtum

Not very successfully

Samsung and Hynix are to stop telling the press when they raise contract DRAM prices, according to the Korea Herald.

Too late then for Samsung's latest price rise - up 30 per cent today, The Korea Maeil Business newspaper reveals.

Too much publicity over DRAM price rises is interfering with negotiations with big customers, several of which, thought to be PC makers, have complained, the Korea Herald says. It's not clear whether they are complaining about price rises per se, or whether it's having a knock-on effect on their customers. Yesterday, two prominent UK system builders, Time and Mesh, announced their intention to pass on DRAM price rises to customers. It is reasonable to infer that similar plans are underway among other computer makers.

The sustainability of increased contract DRAM prices, set twice a month and based on spot prices, is contingent upon industry consolidation, as Boston investment bank Fechtor Detwiler points out.

The big play right now is between Micron, the world's no.2 manufacturer and Hynix, the world's number 3. There is an enormous gap between Micron's offer, reported by the estimable Jack Robertson of EBN to be $1.5bn- $2bn, and the sum, variously reported at $5bn and $7bn demanded by Hynix's creditors. Failure to conclude this deal will see DRAM prices fall back again. ®

Forward contract prices are set