DRAMeXchange, the memory-focused arm of market-watcher TrendForce, has issued a report predicting ongoing relief from the high price of DRAM, while also predicting a similar slide in NAND flash prices - the latter being blamed, in part, on the ongoing trade war between the US and China.
Since shortly after the switch from DDR3 to DDR4 memory, component prices have been rising with little relief thanks to demand outstripping supply. SK Hynix warned that this was unlikely to change in the near future, a sentiment echoed by market watcher DRAMeXchange in July. Others, though, were more upbeat on a longer timescale, with Apple chief financial officer Luca Maestri claiming in May that memory pricing would likely peak by the end of the year before beginning to slide back down.
That prediction appears to have come true a little earlier than expected, with DRAMeXchange publishing a revised report showing the first signs of sustained price drops - including a greater than 10 percent slip quarter-on-quarter for contract prices of 4GB and 8GB DRAM modules.
'As the indicator of the price trend in the contract market,' explains DRAMeXchange senior researcher Avril Wu of the report's findings, 'spot prices have kept falling since the early 2018 [level] and continued their downtrend from September.' The news is good for consumers, and especially for those looking at higher-density parts: The pricing of 8GB modules is expected to drop more rapidly than smaller modules, while an increase in shipment volumes is leading the company to use 8GB parts as the basis for future trend reports.
After nine consecutive quarters of consistent price rises, the DRAM market is claimed to be ripe for a fall: DRAMeXchange predicts a 20 percent year-on-year drop in average selling prices for 2019. A similar impact may be seen in NAND flash parts, a separate report indicates, pointing to the ongoing US-China trade war and shortages in Intel processors as creating an oversupply of NAND wafers and components which led to a 13-17 percent decline in October with 'a high possibility of further price declines in November and December'.