Components | August 12, 2011

Revenue for global DRAM market decreases slightly by 1.9%

Total revenue for the global DRAM industry in 2Q11 was approximately USD 8.1 billion. Although DRAM ASP increased slightly due to expectations of supply disruption from the Japan earthquake, ProMOS’s decrease in wafer start volume and Powerchip’s increase of non-DRAM products caused overall revenue to decrease slightly, 1.9% from 1Q11.
From the market perspective, as DRAM manufacturers continued to increase output from 30nm/40nm advanced processes, DRAMeXchange predicted that in 2Q11 overall chip production would show a growth of 9% from the previous quarter. However, as DRAM manufacturers undergoing technology migration but were still in the adjustment period characterized by low yield rates, a large volume of low-grade chips entered the spot market.

As a result, spot price was not on par with the contract market in 2Q11, falling by more than 10%. According to estimates by DRAMeXchange, while the market had been in a state of oversupply this year, affected by supply chain disruption from the Japan earthquake DDR3 2Gb contract price increased approximately 10% in 2Q11.

However, taking into consideration the decrease in spot market price, the temporary rise in contract price had not been beneficial to overall revenue. This upward trend was merely a reflection of PC-OEMs restocking their DRAM inventory, as opposed to an indication of strong end demand.

As in 1Q11, Korean and American DRAM manufacturers continue to release profitable figures, while among Taiwanese DRAM manufacturers, only Rexchip and Winbond show small profits. All other manufacturers are in the red. Looking towards 3Q11, the short-term upward momentum of price brought about by the Japan earthquake has already dissipated, the overall economy remains weak, and end demand shows no sign of recovery.

DRAMeXchange expects these factors to exacerbate the state of market oversupply and cause a further decrease in ASP. In addition to concentrating their efforts on technology migration to improve cost structure, DRAM manufacturers also need to adjust their product combinations if they hope to escape this storm of falling DRAM prices in one piece.


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