NAND Flash makers to cut Capex by 2% to $22 bn

NAND Flash manufacturers are expected to slash their Capex by 2 percent in 2019 due to oversupply, according to DRAMeXchange, a division of TrendForce.
NAND Flash factories mapThe global NAND Flash manufacturers have already experienced an oversupply in 2018 due to weak demand for notebooks, smartphones, servers and other end products.

South Korea-based manufacturers of NAND Flash have already slowed down the capacity expansion, aiming to moderate the oversupply by limiting the bit output growth. The bit output growth of NAND Flash is expected to be around 38 percent in 2019, significantly lower than over 45 percent in 2018.

US-based manufacturers would also lower their semiconductor Capex.

Total Capex in the global NAND Flash industry is expected to drop to $22 billion in 2019.

92/96-layer 3D NAND products would account for about 32 percent of the industry’s total output in 2019, while the portion of 64/72-layer products remains over 50 percent.

Samsung’s NAND Flash bit output growth is expected to be around 35 percent. Samsung would reduce its production capacity for 2D NAND. Samsung would cut operating capacity, since the 92-layer process requires more space in the fab. Samsung’s share in the NAND Flash market is about 30 percent.

SK Hynix and Toshiba/Western Digital will see smaller bit output growth. SK Hynix has new M15 fab and Toshiba/Western Digital has Fab 6. They will be affected by the production reduction plan or capacity transfer to previous-generation process.

DRAMeXchange has revised the forecast of their bit output growth to less than 50 percent and 35 percent, down from previous forecast of 50 percent and 40 percent, considering the weak demand outlook.

Micron’s new fab in Singapore will not enter mass production until 2020, so the company’s wafer capacity per month in 2019 will remain flat.

Intel plans to reach a full load capacity in its Dalian fab, but does not have other capacity expansion plan. The joint bit output of Micron and Intel would grow by nearly 40 percent in 2019, noticeably lower than 45 percent in 2018.

The NAND Flash price will see a quarterly decline of 20 percent in Q1 2019 and another 15 percent drop in Q2 2019. The NAND Flash price will decrease by around 10 percent each quarter, the forecast report said.

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