1HFeb. NAND Flash contract Price shows slight decline
According to DRAMeXchange, a research division of TrendForce, memory card and UFD retail sales were weak during the Chinese New Year period. As downstream clients’ inventory levels are sufficient for the time being, most clients are not eager to increase purchase volume post-Chinese New Year.Furthermore, 1Q is traditionally the weak sales season for electronic system products, which increases downstream clients’ unwillingness to restock. Although NAND Flash suppliers would prefer maintaining a flat price trend to reduce profit erosion, as it is the weak season a slight concession must be made. Therefore, NAND Flash contract price fell slightly in 1HFeb.NAND Flash industry may fare better in 2H12 than 1H12As the NAND Flash industry will be affected by the traditional weak sales season in 1H12, downstream clients are expected to employ more conservative strategies such as adjusting inventory levels to reduce risk from price decreases – an indication that demand momentum will remain weak.As for the supply side, beginning in February some NAND Flash vendors will gradually increase 20nm-node class product shipment volume. Although this will lower production costs, it will also increase market supply, which is relatively detrimental as the NAND Flash market is currently in the weak season.However, beginning in 2H12, not only will the industry enter the strong sales season, but many manufacturers will unveil new smartphone, tablet PC, and ultrabook models that will hopefully stimulate NAND Flash demand. These new products will consume a large amount of NAND Flash capacity–ultrabook consumption of SSD will be especially high.Therefore, even with a significant increase in the proportion of NAND Flash suppliers’ 20nm-node class products, DRAMeXchange expects there will be enough demand to consume the added supply.