It appears that the downward price trend plaguing the NAND flash industry is going to persist for longer than suppliers may like, with recent reports even suggesting that the decline will persist throughout the fourth quarter.
Not too many days ago, it was revealed that the upward trend in NAND spot pricing had been staved off by a sudden supply influx.
Now, it seems that the decline will continue over the next three months, because market conditions are still uncertain and demand can go either way.
According to sources cited by Digitimes, order visibility for chip suppliers has extended to only early Novemeber.
This may turn out to be troublesome because chip suppliers have a higher dependency on sales to the OEM contract market.
There is also the issue of China's National Day holidays, during which period module makers are more cautious than usual when placing their orders.
What's more, the supply influx may even go on unabated, putting even more pressure on NAND Flash prices in Q4.
To be more specific, major chip suppliers are boosting chip output now that they are passing, or have already migrated, to 2Xnm process technology.
Not only that, but they are also increasing the volumes of 3-bit-per cell chips, at least that is what the report states.
Al of these factors have led to the general contract quotes for NAND Flash memory chips to decline gradually.
As a more concrete example, several distributors from China have driven down their prices in the hopes of spurring demand.
For those interested in numbers, DRAMeXchange supposedly reported that mainstream NAND Flash chips fell 5-10% in price during the month of September alone.
What remains to be seen is if demand in the retail channel continued to stay as weak as it is, or if it starts to recover or again fall during the fourth quarter.