The global average price of dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) chips fell around 10 percent in October from a month earlier, data showed on Nov. 1, 2018, following an increase in supply from global manufacturers.
According to the data compiled by industry tracker DRAMeXchange, the average price of DDR4 8 Gb, used mostly in PCs, reached US$7.31 per unit as of the end of October, down 10.7 percent from $8.19 posted a month earlier.
The price, which had remained relatively flat over the previous five months, decreased to the level in 2017. It posted a whopping 35.8 percent on-month growth in January.
The decrease apparently came as global manufacturers expanded their shipments, with the price expected to lose ground over the fourth quarter.
That of the NAND flash lost ground over the period as well.
The price of 128 Gb MLC products, applied in memory cards and USB flash drives, reached $4.74 at end-October, down 6.51 percent on-month. It marked the first time since February last year for the price to hit the $4 level.
Experts said while the global price for memory chips is likely to fall over the fourth quarter and early next year, the steady demand will sustain the revenue of Samsung Electronics Co. and SK hynix Inc., South Korea's two major chipmakers.
"In the second half of 2019, the strong demand from servers and mobile segments will continue, and the increase in the demand will hover above that of the rise in supply," Samsung Electronics said a day earlier after announcing its third-quarter performance.
Samsung's chip business of the device solutions division saw its operating profit reach 13.65 trillion won (US$11.9 billion) in the July-September period, up 37 percent from 9.96 trillion won posted in the same period last year, setting a new record.
The South Korean tech giant added the advancement of artificial intelligence services will lead to more demand for its DRAM products. The global trend in which even mid-range smartphones adopt high-end features will help Samsung enjoy improved earnings for the second quarter of 2019, it added.
Over the third quarter, the operating profit of SK hynix moved up 73.2 percent over the cited period to 6.47 trillion won, also posting an all-time high. Upon the announcement of its earnings report, SK hynix acknowledged that there will be uncertainties due to the intensifying tension over trade around the globe and eased supply shortages.
The country's No. 2 chipmaker, however, claimed it will continue to generate solid profit as the demand for high-capacity chips will keep rising on the development of new technologies, including artificial intelligence. (Yonhap)
Cho Kyung-hee firstname.lastname@example.org