According to DRAMeXchange, a research division of TrendForce, the 2H’Oct NAND Flash contract prices have dropped by 2-8% (compared to 1H’Oct) due to weak market demand. In the periods following the fire accident at SK Hynix's Wuxi plant, SK Hynix and Samsung both allocated portions of their NAND Flash capacity to DRAM as a means to compensate for lost DRAM production. TrendForce’s research shows that SK Hynix has chosen to utilize 40k of its NAND Flash capacity for DRAM production, while Samsung used approximately 5% of its monthly NAND Flash capacity for the same purpose. Even though the two aforementioned capacity adjustments are expected to contribute to lowered NAND Flash supplies in 4Q13, the lower than expected demands for memory card, UFD, eMMC and SSD products have made NAND Flash suppliers more willing to lower prices as a means to digest their capacity and to stimulate module client demand. The less than expected demand for the above memory products appears to have resulted from the intensive pricing competition within the market, the weaker than expected PC and handset sales, and the fact that the peak quarter has yet to show any noticeable momentum. Underwhelming market demand, all in all, can be said to be the major reason behind the declining NAND Flash prices.
Looking at the market, even though the traditional US and European peak sales periods are set to arrive, the restocking momentum has yet to show any signs of emerging. Whether it is the channel clients or the system clients, the general attitude towards the upcoming peak sales performances appears to be conservative. The NAND Flash contract price downtrend is likely to persist in the event that market demand continues to weaken.