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March 11, 2021

DRAM contract prices rose across the board

The new crown pneumonia epidemic has boosted sales momentum for laptops and tablets, Wi-Fi Netcom equipment, servers, etc. In addition, the demand for automotive electronics has exploded, including standard, server, and niche DRAM. Due to tight supply, January contract prices have risen across the board , Nanya, Winbond, Jinghao Technology, Etron, etc. directly benefited, and their operations improved significantly.

Due to the limited increase in bit supply of the three major DRAM makers in the first half of the year, the industry expects that the short supply will continue into the second half of the year, and DRAM prices are bullish quarter by quarter to the fourth quarter.

Last year, DRAM prices fell quarter by quarter, but this year is expected to stage a V-shaped reversal drama. After the three major factories including Samsung, SK Hynix, and Micron made inventory adjustments last year, the inventory level in hand has now fallen to a 2- to 3-week low. In the first half of the year, the three major fabs did not have new production capacity. Although the manufacturing process was shifted from 1z nanometer to 1a nanometer, the process shrinking will bring about a natural reduction in wafer capacity. Therefore, DRAM makers have strictly controlled shipments since this year. The bit supply growth rate is obviously limited.

However, from the perspective of demand, the off-season in the first quarter turned to prosperity. The new crown pneumonia epidemic drove the shipment of laptops and tablets, WiFi devices, servers, etc., coupled with the global shortage of automotive chips, and the average DRAM of automotive electronics Capacity has doubled, resulting in a tight supply in the DRAM market in the first quarter. The January contract prices of standard, server, and niche DRAM have risen across the board.

According to quotations from TrendForce and module manufacturers, server DRAM prices stopped rising in January. The contract price of 32GB DDR4 RDIMM increased by 4.6% to US$115, and the contract price of 64GB DDR4 LRDIMM increased by 4.9% to US$235. Standard-type DRAM prices also resumed their upward trend in January. The contract price of 8GB DDR4 modules increased by 4.8% to US$26 per month, and the contract price of 8Gb DDR4 chips reached US$3. In addition, the price of niche DRAM continued to rise in January, and DDR3, which was out of stock, was amplified. 2Gb DDR3 particles increased by 6.7% to 1.12 US dollars per month.

Samsung Electronics, a leading DRAM manufacturer, pointed out in a recent law conference that server customer inventory adjustments have ended, additional investment has begun, and shipments of new platforms in the second quarter will be booming. 5G mobile phone shipments continue to increase, and long-distance business opportunities drive notebook shipments Continued strength, optimistic about the quarterly increase in DRAM prices in the first half of the year.

Although Samsung’s P2 plant in Pyeongtaek, SK Hynix’s M16 plant, and Micron’s Taichung expansion project were completed this year and began mass production, the production capacity will have to wait until the second half of the year, and the size of DDR5 chips will increase by 20% compared with DDR4. The growth rate of shipments is still under control. The industry has a consensus on the quarterly increase in DRAM prices this year. It is estimated that the average price will rise by 5% in the first quarter and 10% in the second quarter. In the second half of the year, the situation of short supply will remain unchanged, and the price will rise to the fourth quarter.

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