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Memory makers see better profits as chip pricing improves
Jessie Shen, DIGITIMES, Taipei [Wednesday 17 April 2013]

Memory chipmakers as well as module firms are in a favorable and more profitable position in the second quarter of 2013, as prices for DRAM and NAND flash chips continue to strengthen.

Early April contract prices for 4GB DDR3 modules went up 8-10% to US$25-26, with corresponding 4Gb chips quoted between US$2.80 and US$2.95, a recent Chinese-language Commercial Times report cited sources at module makers as disclosing. Meanwhile, prices for 2GB parts topped US$15 with average prices for 2Gb chips arriving at US$1.50, according to the report.

Contract prices for NAND flash memory also saw a substantial rally during the same period, including those for higher density solutions, the report indicated. Prices for mainstream 32Gb MLC chips rose 5-12% in the first half of April, while those for 128Gb ones increased by 2-9%, the report said.

As peak season approaches, prices for DRAM and NAND flash chips are expected to edge higher later in the second quarter of 2013. Companies including those that had losses in their most-recent quarter will benefit from the continued price increases.

Chip firms including Nanya Technology, Winbond Electronics and Inotera Memories stand a good chance of swinging to quarterly profits sometime in 2013, market watchers were quoted in previous reports as saying. Meanwhile, module firms such as Adata Technology and Transcend Information, as well as fabless designers Elite Semiconductor Memory Technology (ESMT) and Etron Technology, are set to make bigger profits, the watchers also believe.

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