Bank of Korea (BOK) said Thursday it expects a positive outlook for memory semiconductors in the mid- to long-term.
The market’s recovery from lowered demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic was slower than it predicted earlier, but memory chips will see growth starting in the third quarter, the central bank said in its economy outlook report.
Excess demand for them that was expected in the second quarter will now be postponed to the third quarter due to slower-than-expected smartphone sales, the bank said.
Excess demand nearly always cause memory chip prices to spike.
BOK also said it saw demand from servers rise from social distancing that is accelerating digital transformation of companies and expanding contact-less services. It saw companies such as Taiwan-based Aspeed that design server DRAM perform well during pandemic.
It saw mid- to long-term growth as well as a rise in memory supply will be limited. BOK said semiconductors vendors decreased their investment last year. Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix said earlier they will invest conservatively this year as well.
BOK, citing data from research firm Gartner, said demand for memory chips will rise 18.1% this year, slower than in 2019. But this will rise to 26% in 2021 and continue to rise at a rate of over 20% up to 2023.