Scottsdale, Ariz. - The average selling price (ASP) for DRAMs is expected to be slightly less in the second quarter compared with the first quarter of 2014, according to IC Insights. However, ASPs are still up 24 percent over the second quarter of 2013.
Initial research for the Mid-Year Update to the 2014 McClean Report also indicates that DRAM unit volume shipments were flat in the second quarter of 2014, holding at 3.4 billion units, but down five percent compared with the second quarter of 2013 and down 15 percent from the second quarter of 2012.
DRAM ASPs increased each month in 2013 with the exception of November, according to the report. In February 2014, the DRAM ASP reached $3.19, which was its highest level since February 2007. The transition to higher priced mobile DRAM contributed in part to rising prices with shipments of smartphones and tablet PCs increasing while shipments of notebook and desktop PCs are flat to falling. This resulted in DRAM suppliers shifting their product mix to increase their output of low-power but higher priced mobile devices and scale back on PC DRAM production, said IC Insights.
However, WSTS reports the DRAM ASP fell to $2.98 in March 2014 and $2.96 in April, marking the first two-month decline since 2011. IC Insights expects that DRAM pricing, on a quarterly basis, will be significantly less volatile in 2014 compared to the past few years. This is in part due to the reduction of major suppliers down to three.
DRAM unit shipments have continued to fall in 2012 and 2013. However, IC Insights expects shipments to remain flat in 2014 and 2015. Analysts forecast unit sales to range from 13.5 billion to 13.9 billion through 2018 as shipments increase for mobile DRAM, offsetting the declines in PC DRAM unit shipments.
Avnet Electronics Marketing recently reported that Mobile DRAM is now 28 percent to 30 percent of sales compared with less than 10 percent in 2012.
After a market consolidation the DRAM industry showed a strong recovery in 2013, according to Avril Wu, assistant vice president at DRAMeXchange. She expects the industry to grow 33 percent year-over-year to approximately $45.9 billion in 2014 with profits increasing in both 2014 and 2015 as ASPs stabilize.”
Mobile DRAM will account for more than 30 percent of the DRAM industry’s revenues by the end of 2014, replacing PC DRAM as the mainstream product,” stated Wu.