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January 23, 2021

DRAM buyers increase inventory, TrendForce: Q1 is bullish next year!

According to the Semiconductor Research Office of TrendForce, a market research agency, the DRAM market is an oligopolistic market, and its supply and demand momentum is significantly healthier than that of NAND Flash. After more than two quarters of inventory corrections, it is expected to slow down the expected subsequent price increases. Costs are rising. In the first quarter of 2021, it is expected that buyers will begin to increase the inventory level to respond, so that the price will be supported. The overall average selling price of DRAM will stop falling and stabilize, and may even rise slightly. Starting from the end of 2020, HOREXS orders for DRAM substrates have also been rising.

From the perspective of demand, the production volume of notebook computers in the first quarter of 2021 is estimated to be about 52.7 million units. In addition to the traditional off-season effect and the reduction in the number of working days during the Lunar New Year, the base period in the fourth quarter of 2020 is also high. , So the estimated quarterly reduction is about 9%.

However, most of the OEM brand manufacturers benefited from the strong notebook shipments this year, and the standard DRAM inventory level is only 4 to 5 weeks. Therefore, it is estimated that manufacturers' intention to increase inventory in the short term will continue to boost demand momentum.

From the perspective of supply, the overall supply bit growth of the three original DRAM manufacturers, Samsung, SK Hynix, and Micron, has not increased significantly in the past two quarters. In addition, thanks to the booming momentum of mobile DRAM, the third quarter At the end of the day, various factories planned to continue to shift their production capacity to this field, resulting in the squeeze out of standard and server DRAM production capacity. Therefore, in the first quarter of 2021, the demand is strong and the supply has not grown significantly, the average price of standard DRAM is not easy to fall.

In the server DRAM segment, TrendForce expects that prices will fall, production capacity will be tight, and other factors have led to a significant increase in the market's consensus on early stocking. Looking forward to 2021, although the first quarter of each year is the off-season cycle for brand factory shipments, under the influence of anticipatory psychology on the eve of the price reversal and the Micron jump event, buyers will be stimulated to make up orders in advance.

At this stage, as the market has recently led the rise by some product lines, and with the booming demand for mobile DRAM and standard DRAM, the downward price range of server DRAM has the opportunity to end early, and the price will officially increase in the first quarter of next year.

TrendForce predicts that the contract price of mobile DRAM in the first quarter of next year will be roughly the same as in the fourth quarter of this year. For brands with high demand, prices have not changed much under the support of previously agreed specific transactions and large demand.

On the other hand, due to the crowding-out effect of other small-scale brand factories, coupled with factors such as small demand capacity and low original factory supply willingness, the contract price in the first quarter of next year does not rule out the possibility of a slight increase, which is about 3%. Within.

TrendForce pointed out that graphics-based GDDR benefited from new graphics cards, new game consoles, and mining machines that continue to play the three pillars of demand, driving graphics-based GDDR to become the first to increase prices among all DRAM products.

TrendForce estimates that the price of mainstream GDDR6 products will increase by about 5-10% in the first quarter of 2021. As for consumer or niche DRAM, SK Hynix has officially discontinued the production of 2Gb DDR3, and Samsung has gradually shifted the old DRAM process of Line 13 to the production of CMOS image sensors. DDR3 is priced at a low price as Korean manufacturers continue to reduce output. Take the lead in being pulled up.

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