After a sharp drop in production by US and Korean flash memory manufacturers in May, NAND chip market prices started to increase slightly compared to March and April. It can be seen most clearly in China. Analysts at TrendForce believe that the price of mainstream 512Gb NAND chips could start a gentle recovery in June. Price increases of 5% are expected in the third quarter and 8-13% in the fourth. There are currently no signs of price increases for SSD, eMMC and UFS, but it is clear that prices for these products will follow memory with a small lag.
The peak of the restocking season will be reached in the second half of the year. Despite restrained demand, the market continues to expect higher deliveries in the second half of the year. However, TrendForce warns that the state of the NAND market will depend on two key factors: how well demand recovers during the fall peak season and whether vendors can remain firm on pricing without allowing new price cuts.
Chinese manufacturers show higher tolerance for modest price hikes for NAND chips, which could lead prices of some capacity chips to stabilize earlier in the Chinese market than other regions. If other markets follow suit and agree to modest price increases, this could encourage suppliers to increase their prices and buyers to adopt a more active purchasing strategy.
TrendForce analysis shows that Chinese manufacturers’ proactive inventory strategy is driven by expectations of a price ‘recovery’ from the bottom. Flash memory product manufacturers are actively replenishing stocks at low prices to take advantage of a changing market situation. They continue to expand their purchases of client SSD components, UFS products and eMMC products in anticipation of future orders from major customers.