March 16, 2011

Component Supplies After Japan Quake Uncertain

Todd Swank, vice president of marketing at Northern Computer Technologies, a Burnsville, Minn.-based system builder, said that prices for DRAM chips from memory vendor Kingston Technologies dropped to their lowest price on Friday, and have since risen slightly.

However, Swank said, the rise in price seems to be more related to an increase in demand caused by the economic recovery than to the tragedy in Japan. "It seems like demand has been spiking lately," he said. "Everybody has been focusing on growth."

The current situation is nothing like 1999, when a massive earthquake struck Taiwan and caused DRAM prices to spike by six times to eight times, Swank said. "Since then, there have been over 50 times when people say the price is spiking, only to see no such thing," he said.

Even so, Swank said Nor-Tech is taking no chances.

"I don't think anything will happen yet on spot pricing," he said. "My guess is, we'll see some pricing upticks. But we are seriously considering taking a stocking situation with DRAM, just in case."

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