SSD prices predicted to skyrocket throughout 2024 — TrendForce market report projects a 50% price hike

Samsung 990 Pro SSD
(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

A report from TrendForce predicts NAND flash prices will surge by 50% in the short term, eventually resulting in higher prices for SSDs. NAND chips have already gotten more expensive in the second half of 2023, but they're set to increase even more as flash manufacturers attempt to return to profitability.

The 50% figure given by TrendForce is the goal of companies like Samsung, SK hynix, and Micron, which produce much of the world's NAND. From today's prices, an increase of 40% will reportedly get these companies back to breaking even, and a rise of 50% will mean profits instead of the losses that threatened bankruptcies earlier this year.

These price shifts can already be seen in the spot market for NAND flash, which DRAMeXchange tracks. We've compiled a table of average spot prices towards the end of each month using the best data available from the Wayback Machine.

Since July of this year, when NAND prices bottomed out, we've seen progressively higher monthly prices. Today, prices for 512GB TLC chips are 120% higher than in July, and 256GB and 128GB TLC aren't far behind at 60% and 22% respectively. From December 6 to today, the prices for 512GB, 256GB, and 128GB TLC NAND increased by 7.4%, 4.2%, and 4.6%, respectively. A further 50% increase would put prices back on par with what we saw in July 2021.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Average DRAM and NAND Spot Prices by Month
Header Cell - Column 0 512GB TLC256GB TLC128GB TLC
July 31, 2021$4.89$2.65$1.866
July 20, 2023$1.404$0.929$1.063
August 31, 2023$1.519$0.96$1.067
September 29, 2023$1.69$1.041$1.067
October 31, 2023$2.044$1.158$1.08
November 30, 2023$2.566$1.363$1.242
December 3, 2023$2.862$1.437$1.242
December 29, 2023$3.075$1.498$1.3

According to TrendForce, the source of lower prices is lowered production, and in the classic case of supply and demand, lower supply against the same or greater demand means higher prices. Samsung has decreased its output by 50% since September, though the market has already seen price bumps due to inventory being cleared out.

We've already seen rising SSD prices on several popular models, such as the MX500 1TB. This SSD was about $48 as late as September, but today, it's generally found for $65, a 35% increase in price. If prices increase by 50% from here, the MX500 and other 1TB SSDs will go for $100, the typical price in the first half of 2022. For buyers, paying twice the price for the same product is frustrating.

On the other hand, this is excellent news for the memory industry. The earlier part of the year was rough for the industry, especially for Micron, which lost $2.3 billion in the first quarter. Though we love cheap PC parts, these prices wouldn't be sustainable. We're still well down from the high 2021 and early 2022 prices, but the industry is trying to return to that area.

Matthew Connatser

Matthew Connatser is a freelancing writer for Tom's Hardware US. He writes articles about CPUs, GPUs, SSDs, and computers in general.

  • AgentBirdnest
    Oof, I'm wishing I'd bought a 2TB drive or two back in August, when they were $60...
  • Co BIY
    How was production lowered ?

    Did they close production lines ?
  • atomicWAR
    Co BIY said:
    How was production lowered ?

    Did they close production lines ?
    Yes Samsung made 20% cuts to production to nand in September for example. From my understanding this was meant to raise the prices of nand and thus SSDs/NVMe drives as they weren't happy with the prices trending so low. I saw this coming over the summer from the rumor mills and actually filled both mine and the wife's NVMe slots with either 2 or 4TB drives (four per board...x670e Taichi's) in July-> August. Now I'll wait til 8TB NVMe drives to hit 300 dollar price point or less and I'll likely upgrade our rigs again.
  • Avro Arrow
    Well, I'm sure glad that I bought my SSDs this year. I still have about 3½TB of unused NVMe gaming space so I should be just fine. I actually just bought a 1TB 2.5" SSD to resurrect an old craptop for $60CAD which is pretty decent, especially if it costs $90 six months from now.

    I remember shaking my head when I saw a Crucial MX500 (only 500GB) for $65 on sale! I could never justify that because every test I've ever seen has had only negligible real-world performance differences between what could be called "the best" and what could be called "the worst".

    The price differences weren't so negligible though. ;)
  • watzupken
    Feels like a paid "prediction" to stir people to rush out and buy SSDs so that they won't miss the "good" price now. While it is true they can reduce supply to try and bump prices up, you can only do so to some extent. Unless they are planning not to produce anything at all and leave their fabs and factories running at very low utilization rate. Either way will result in losses.
  • cyrusfox
    Used market is usually immune to this... But I have bought a couple datacenter lemons
    •Toshiba drives at well past the write warranty limit, 100+PB, still works well in some applications (Scratch drive, Xbox replacement drive), but not a trusted drive, still going though...
  • JTWrenn
    This is straight price manipulation by samsung. We need more major players to really fight this out to get decent pricing. It all feels like a scam at this point.
  • The_Werewolf
    Where were you guys when HD drive prices skyrocketed this year?

    Anyway, if your baseline for prices are the top end brands, then you'll get a bad skew. It's like suggesting the price of laptops and PCs are going to skyrocket because Apple raised their prices.
  • cyrusfox
    JTWrenn said:
    This is straight price manipulation by samsung. We need more major players to really fight this out to get decent pricing. It all feels like a scam at this point.
    This is a huge multi billion dollar market, they would only cut production if they are in the red (selling at a lost).
    As you can see above the NAND market is in a severe downturn, revenue is less than half of what was obtained during 2021, back to 2016 levels... When it cost more to make then you can sell it for, why would you make more of a depreciating commodity???
    Current major players in the NAND market:

    Solidigm (was Intel, Bought by Hynix)
    Western Digital
    Various Chinese manufacturers (YMTC most prominent)This is a HUGE market with giant organizations already in the mix, yes there has been some consolidation (Solidigm bought by Hynix, Kioxia and WD future together is a bit more murkier)
  • thestryker
    This has happened in every computing commodity market, but hopefully doesn't lead to more consolidation than we've already seen. DRAM and HDD markets both only have 3 primary players (Kingston is also pretty big, but I'm not sure how much of that is still DRAM so maybe 4) and we don't really want that here.