The global NAND flash industry generated US$13.71 billion in output value in the third quarter of 2022, down 24.3% sequentially, according to a recent TrendForce report. The industry output value is poised to register another on-quarter decline in the fourth quarter, as suppliers' production cuts "bring no immediate relief."
NAND flash shipments for end products including consumer electronics and servers were lower than expected in the third quarter, when the overall memory ASPs also fell by 18.3% on quarter, TrendForce indicated. Besides, a gloomy macro outlook discouraged enterprises across many sectors from procuring and spending.
NAND flash suppliers started being trapped by excess inventory levels in the third quarter, and have faced mounting inventory pressure since, TrendForce said. The industry's bit shipments declined 6.7% sequentially in the third quarter, with ASPs falling more severely.
Moving into the fourth quarter of 2022, TrendForce believes most suppliers will be more cautious about output planning. Suppliers, except Samsung, will be taking measures such as scaling back wafer starts and decelerating the pace of technology transition aiming to restore supply-demand balance.
However, NAND flash prices will still be under significant downward pressure in the fourth quarter with contract prices set to fall 20-25% sequentially, TrendForce indicated. The industry output value is forecast to post a sequential decline of almost 20% in the fourth quarter.
Almost all branded NAND flash vendors posted double-digit sequential revenue decreases in the third quarter, TrendForce disclosed. Kioxia was an exception as the Japan-based vendor generated just a 0.1% sequential drop thanks to shipment pull-ins from its biggest client during the quarter.
Samsung Electronics remained the world's top NAND flash chip vendor in the third quarter with about 31% market share, despite having a 28.1% revenue fall on quarter. SK Hynix moved to third due partly to disappointing enterprise SSD sales generated by Solidigm (formerly Intel's non-volatile memory solutions group), according to TrendForce.