Analysts from TrendForce predict the continued slight oversupply in the NAND flash memory market will result in downward price pressure this quarter. This will likely be limited to the first half of the year, as demand is expected to pick up seasonally in the second half of 2018. Looking a bit further into the future, there are some other developments that may lead to lower pricing. Manufacturers are expected to roll out 9x-layer NAND flash memory in 2019, and Yangtze Memory Technologies Company (YMTC) is expected to start high-volume production that year.
The NAND Flash market has witnessed a slight oversupply in 1Q18. The growth momentum remains weak in 2Q18 although the demand increases, according to DRAMeXchange, a division of TrendForce. It is expected that the slight oversupply in NAND Flash market will remain and the prices will continue to decline.
In the 2H18, the overall demand will increase due to the peak season. Demand in channel markets will also recover because of the lower prices. The growths in average NAND Flash content per box for smartphones will also drive the steady bit shipment growth.
On the supply side, some manufacturers have slowed down their production expansion in response to the market trend in the first half of this year. Therefore, the next-generation 9x-layer NAND Flash process will not see sizeable shipment until 2019. The Yangtze Memory Technologies Company (YMTC), another focus of the industry, will also have limited impact on the supply in 2018 as well, since the new capacity of YMTC will not be sizeable until 2019.
In sum, the NAND Flash market will see slight oversupply in 1H18, but may change to tight supply in 2H18. The fluctuated prices of NAND Flash products will return to a stable level in 2H18 as suppliers, who own DRAM resources, adopt bundling sale strategy. The price drop of eMMC/UFS, PC/enterprise SSD and other products will be moderated then.