TrendForce predicted that DRAM prices would rise 13-18% in the second quarter of 2021, DigiTimes reports, as suppliers maintain bit output despite steady demand.
The research firm claimed that PC DRAM buyers have enough inventory to last them four to five weeks, per the report, and that manufacturers are buying as much DRAM as they can now so they won't have to purchase it at a higher price later in the year.
DRAM suppliers have reportedly maintained production levels in the face of this increasing (or at least consistent) demand from their customers. By now everyone can do the math: increased demand plus limited supply equals higher prices.
TrendForce reportedly said DRAM suppliers also have increased demand from the server market, where it predicted a 20% price increase in 2Q21. There's increased demand from the smartphone market, too, but the server market gets priority.
DigiTimes reported that all of these factors could lead to price increases for 8GB DDR4 modules of 15% or more in the second quarter, per its industry sources.
TrendForce's report is the latest indication that manufacturers will have to worry more about DRAM pricing as well as the broader chip shortage limiting the supply of CPUs, GPUs, and all the devices that rely upon them. (To say nothing of NAND woes.)
These estimates also seem to assume something akin to "business as usual," but that has been increasingly hard to come by in the last year. COVID-19, earthquakes, droughts, and winter storms have all had serious effects on the industry recently.