Thursday, June 6, 2013

2H'May NAND flash contract prices stay flat amid sluggish transactions

TAIWAN: According to DRAMeXchange, a research division of TrendForce, 2H'May NAND Flash contract prices have remained flat due to factors such as the weaker than expected performance of the channel market during May and June, the high inventory levels of the channel and module plants, and the lack of a purchasing agreement between the NAND Flash buyers and sellers.

Initially, module manufacturers had been hoping that upon the arrival of the quarter-end period, the NAND Flash suppliers—in particular those based in the US—would start to lower product price as a means to stimulate sales. Many NAND Flash makers, however, appear reluctant to implement such a strategy given the possibility of a strengthened momentum in the upcoming peak quarters.

Looking at the future state of the market, it appears that the growth of NAND Flash supply will remain somewhat limited throughout 2013. With the migration progress towards the 1x nm progresses slowing down, TrendForce  forecasts that the Q3 bit growth will only increase by 5 to 10 percent compared to the second quarter.

On the demand side, seeing as how the shipment momentum of smartphone and tablet products are set to increase during June, and taking into account the number of new mobile devices that are set to debut in Q3, the NAND Flash products' "pull-in" momentum can reasonably be expected to expand throughout 2H13.

As Taiwan's Computex exhibition opens this month, a series of unique PC products carrying Intel's Haswell processor will be introduced. Other than components such as light touch-based modules, solid state drives of varying densities are perceived to be highly critical when it comes to enhancing a personal computer's overall efficiency.

In the event that they become popular, the penetration rate of SSDs will grow noticeably throughout the course of this year. With regard to the USB3.0 UFD market, given the rising popularity of the product and the effective way in which its cost is being managed, the shipment scale is likely to experience a notable increase in Q3.

Before the arrival of the upcoming peak season (during which OEM orders are expected to rise), TrendForce  believes there is a good chance for June NAND Flash contract prices to begin showing minor growth.

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