I was referring specifically referring to production operations at Samsung and Hynix in Korea.
With the political tension and potential for further conflict, there are several factors to consider involving reduced production (tightening the market and raising prices), the potential for a military reserve call-up, increased employee absenteeism during a crisis, and the desire of management to spin down operations during a conflict in order to protect assets.
A few of the comments question why increased political tensions influence pricing. Typically, in the semiconductor space one would consider supply and demand along with Moore's Law in calculating semiconductor pricing trends. We have been surveying the NAND market for going on 8 years, and believe external factors such as this one have an equal role in influencing short-term price moves.
I assume Westwood Marketing was referring to South Korean manufacturers Samsung and Hynix, which together have about 50 percent of the market, give or take. So if you've got half of the world's supply in an area where people are worried that a war could break out, it stands to reason that people are buying more now, driving up the price. Remember also that this survey was done Nov. 26, three days after the shelling. It's quite possible that prices have declined since.
The North Korean regime is going through a period of change with the dear leader's son poised to take over at the helm of the country soon. Anything could happen then, hence the increased aggravtion this time.
I am still not clear why the shelling caused the price rise. I do understand that half of the NAND production would be at risk but this is not unusual for N Korea to be aggressive and then back off after getting some concessions. If things continue then of course prices would rise but even still I wonder how hostilities would affect the actual production facilities.
As we unveil EE Times’ 2015 Silicon 60 list, journalist & Silicon 60 researcher Peter Clarke hosts a conversation on startups in the electronics industry. Panelists Dan Armbrust (investment firm Silicon Catalyst), Andrew Kau (venture capital firm Walden International), and Stan Boland (successful serial entrepreneur, former CEO of Neul, Icera) join in the live debate.