DRAM Industry Sees Nearly 30% Revenue Growth in 4Q23 Due to Rising Prices and Volume, Says TrendForce

TrendForce reports a 29.6% QoQ in DRAM industry revenue for 4Q23, reaching US$17.46 billion, propelled by revitalized stockpiling efforts and strategic production control by leading manufacturers. Looking ahead to 1Q24, the intent to further enhance profitability is evident, with a projected near 20% increase in DRAM contract prices—albeit with a slight decrease in shipment volumes to the traditional off-season.

Samsung led the pack with the highest revenue growth among the top manufacturers in Q4 as it jumped 50% QoQ to hit $7.95 billion, largely due to a surge in 1alpha nm DDR5 shipments, boosting server DRAM shipments by over 60%. SK hynix saw a modest 1–3% rise in shipment volumes but benefited from the pricing advantage of HBM and DDR5, especially from high-density server DRAM modules, leading to a 17–19% increase in ASP and a 20.2% rise in revenue to $5.56 billion. Micron witnessed growth in both volume and price, with a 4–6% increase in each, resulting in a more moderate revenue growth of 8.9%, totaling $3.35 billion for the quarter due to its comparatively lower share of DDR5 and HBM.

On the capacity planning front, Samsung’s production bounced back in the first quarter of this year, reaching an 80% utilization rate after significantly cutting production back in 4Q23. Demand is expected to rise notably in 2H24, leading to a continuous increase in production capacity through 4Q24. SK hynix is actively expanding its HBM capacity and gradually increasing wafer starts, especially with the rollout of HBM3e’s mass production. Micron is also warming up its wafer starts, aiming to boost its advanced 1beta nm process share for HBM, DDR5, and LPDDR5(X) products as it expects a convergence in capacity due to the increase in advanced process equipment.

In Taiwan, Nanya experienced growth in both volume and price, with a slower recovery in consumer DRAM sales dynamics driving a 12.1% increase in Q4 revenue to $274 million. Winbond—with new capacity from its KH fab aimed at reducing inventory and expanding its customer base without raising contract prices—saw proactive shipment performance lead to a 19.5% revenue increase to around $133 million in the fourth quarter.

PSMC benefited from the gradual rise in spot and contract prices, enhancing client stocking efforts, and, with a low base shipment, saw DRAM revenue soar by 110% to $39 million for the quarter. Including foundry services, PSMC’s total revenue experienced an 11.6% increase.

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