Chinese New Year is no damp squib for DRAM

Carry on rising

Chinese New Year is coming up soon, and that means a huge swathe of the computer industry in East Asia (not Japan, of course) shuts down for a week or so from Feb 10.

Usually, this means spot market DRAM prices fall, as brokers clear stock in advance of the holiday. But not this year.

According to the channel checkers at Fechtor Detwiler, the Boston investment bank, brokers "do not feel the pressure to sell... as they have done in the past".

The market expects Hynix to do a deal either with Infineon or Samsung, if takeover talks with Micron fail. Any which way, this will make 'price co-ordination and control of supply even tighter than before," Fechtor Detwiler says in a research note. "So these brokers will keep defensive inventory and expect to sell at even higher prices after they come back from holiday."

Hynix this week announced that it was placing DDR DRAM memory on allocation - in other words, big customers have to queue for supply. This means that there's no surplus for the spot market. ®