Japan crisis sends component prices soaring

Memory prices look set to surge in the aftermath of the earthquakes and tsunami that hit Japan, according to analysts.

With the world still unsure just how much damage the disaster has caused to Japan’s manufacturing capability, market speculators appear to be banking on the inevitable disruption to restrict supply and push prices up.

The instability pushed spot trading prices for DDR3 1Gb 128Mx8 units up by more than 7.5% in trading today, according to DRAMeXchange, and other prices were equally volatile.

The spot price for 16GB NAND flash memory chips rose 12.5% as traders stockpiled available components and some suppliers stopped offering prices in the volatile market.

The research company said Japan makes more than one in five semiconductors used globally, and enjoys a 35% market share of NAND Flash memory. The country also supplies 13% of the world’s DRAM chips.

“Based on past experience, DRAMeXchange believes that manufactures will evaluate their fab equipment and make necessary repair,” said Joan Chen, in a post on the company’s blog.

“Although the semiconductor production line was not severely damaged, the material supply and basic traffic reconstruction will impact more on the supply of semiconductor than production line damage. The overall supply is expected to be affected for the next two weeks due to traffic difficulties.”

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