Sudden increase in storage prices
The spot market prices for DRAM have gone up by up to 25 percent. A 128 MB PC133 bar is currently available on Asian spot markets for around 8 US dollars each. Nervousness is spreading in the industry and the first rumors are making the rounds.
The spot market prices for memory modules are lightning fast increased. Since last Tuesday, some types of DRAM have increased in price by up to 25 percent. The price upswing is assuming a low level, SDR-SDRAM chips of the type PC133 with a capacity of 128 Mbit have been available for less than 90 US cents each in the past few weeks. In Asia, a 128 MB PC133 no-name bar costs around 8 US dollars on the sports markets. According to information from the industry, there seems to be a shortage of PC133 memory modules. However, German retail prices are not yet affected. Some manufacturers such as Fujitsu, Toshiba or Hynix have apparently made their announcements come true and throttled DRAM production. In addition, there are still fierce takeover rumors circulating in the industry: Infineon and Toshiba supposedly want to merge their DRAM production, and Infineon is also planning to cooperate with some Taiwanese chip factories. Furthermore, some DRAM companies in Japan and the USA are said to have now demanded the application of anti-dumping laws against the South Korean manufacturer Hynix. Hynix had already plunged into a deep debt crisis in 2000, the industry record year, and has since kept afloat with financial injections from banks, with the government holding a not inconsiderable stake. Some foreign companies like Infineon or Micron see this as a hidden subsidy. The trigger and, much more importantly, the duration of the price upswing are currently unclear, when DRAM prices reached an interim high a few weeks ago, but this did not last long.