Since one of the things I do on a daily basis is scan various sources of information for news, one of the things I can spot is a trend. It's not rocket science — if I see the word “price,” I automatically look for “up” or “down.”
Here's a compilation of the pricing trends I've spotted in the last week, and the sources of information. I've checked this information against what I am hearing and seeing from global broadline distributors, who are on the front line of pricing trends.
NAND: NAND flash contract prices have continued to decline in early November 2010, according to DigiTimes. Prices for 64GByte and 16GB MLC products dropped more than 7 percent, and 8GB MLC products fell 10 to 14 percent.
Reason: In Asia, the consumer market is approaching the slow part of the season and buying has leveled off. It is expected that the lower prices will help NAND makers gain more market share despite lower prices.
Solid capacitors: Prices are expected to decline, according to DigiTimes.
Reason: Solid capacitor orders for graphics cards have been shifted to Taiwan-based suppliers, which are offering prices 30 percent lower than their Japan-based competitors.
This is not consistent with the trends US-based distributors are reporting. For commercial capacitors overall, distributors are seeing ASPs increasing. Prices for ceramics are stable; high CV leadtimes are stretching out; and tantalum prices are increasing.
Solid State Drive (SSD): Prices decreasing by as much as 10 percent to 15 percent, according to DigiTimes.
Reason: Suppliers want to increase market penetration.
Hard drive makers on the other hand, have seen their prices increase.
No feedback from distributors.
DRAM: Contract prices are falling, according to DigiTimes. Contract prices for 1GB DRAM memory have plunged by over 7 percent.
Reason: The continued fall in DRAM prices reflects the fact that demand is too slow to keep up with chipmakers' output growth using advanced processes. The mainstream memory densities for PCs still remain 2GB, limiting overall DRAM consumption.
Feedback from distributors is average selling prices are stable for memory products overall. Lead times continue to increase. Supplies on most commodities are expected to remain tight.
Photovoltaic modules: Prices decreasing, according to IMS Research.
Reason: Pricing pressure for solar modules will result in a growing share of production taking place in Asia as suppliers seek to drive down PV module manufacturing costs. More than 70 percent of module production capacity will be located in Asia in the final quarter of 2010.
Booming demand throughout 2010 has resulted in high shipment growth and limited pricing pressure for the module industry. However, as the over-heating German market begins to show signs of cooling, PV suppliers across the entire supply chain are becoming increasingly focused on reducing their manufacturing costs.
No feedback from distributors.
A couple of things to consider here: In several cases the data is contradictory. It's important to note that for DRAM and NAND, contract prices are decreasing, while commercial prices — those offered through distribution — are stable or expected to increase. Obviously, there is still a lot of price disparity in the market that tools such as Freebenchmarking.com may help clarify. (See: Breaking It Down: How to End Component Pricing Secrecy.)