The Memory Guy has been getting calls lately asking how to tell that a shortage is developing. My answer is always the same: It’s hard to tell.
One indicator is that spot prices which were below contract prices rise above contract prices. This doesn’t happen for all components or densities of DRAM or NAND flash at the same time. Some of these transitions are temporary as well. It takes patience to see if it was a momentary change or if it was the onset of a shortage.
DRAM spot prices have generally been below contract prices since August 2014, but this month they raised above contract prices. NAND flash spot prices also fell below contract prices in mid-2014 but today NAND’s spot price remains lower than contract prices.
Lead times represent another indicator. If the lead time for a number of components increases then those chips are moving into a shortage. Lead times have recently been rising for both NAND flash and DRAM.
A third indication occurs when suppliers start to Continue reading