It turns out Samsung has taken the lead in raising prices for factory customers. The categories involved in the price increase are DDR3, eMMC, and Nand Flash. In particular, the recent price increase of the Samsung 8GB and 16GB eMMC is relatively large, accounting around 10%. We even don’t want to calculate how it will affect the final price of smartphones or the products that use these memory options.
At the beginning of the month, Japan announced that it will restrict the export of fluorine polyimide, photoresist and etching gas (hydrogen fluoride) to Korea as the core raw material for semiconductor manufacturing and screen manufacturing from July 4. Last week, some insiders said that Samsung’s hydrogen fluoride storage may only last for a few weeks. Moreover, other Korean semiconductor companies such as SK Hynix are not optimistic about this issue. Probably, the insiders meant they do not have stocks like Samsung. On the one hand, it’s quite logical because they do not have the same capacity as Samsung. But on the other hand, they could require more materials after Japan’s restrictions.
In response to Japan’s export restrictions on Korean semiconductor materials, this week, Korean media reported that SK Hynix has begun testing hydrogen fluoride materials imported from China. At the same time, we have heard Samsung recently purchased high-purity hydrogen fluoride from Xi’an on a large scale. Despite this, semiconductor production is a very complicated process. So we should admit it’s very hard times for semiconductor makers.
Earlier today, Reuters quoted people familiar with the matter. The source said Samsung Electronics sent a letter calling on local smartphones and home appliance business partners to hoard more Japanese parts in case Japan expands its export controls to South Korea.
Taking into account all the aforementioned information, we can say the price increase of Samsung memory products is logical. But we should also expect for sequential price increases for the final products if the Korean manufacturers do not find alternatives.