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Andrew Kretzer, director of sales and marketing at Bold Data Technology, a Fremont, Calif.-based system builder, said he has seen prices for DRAM, hard drives, and anything that might use Flash memory jump anywhere from 10 percent to 30 percent since the earthquake and tsunami.
Another big system builder, who preferred to remain anonymous, said some vendors are saying they need to wait for further assessments before moving on prices, but that Flash memory components prices will go up by an unknown amount, resulting in spikes in memory and SSD prices.
"Some vendors may be holding off shipment until they know what the market looks like first," the system builder said. "Our market has definitely been impacted."
There should be little impact to the hard drive market because most production is done in Southeast Asia, with little production done in Japan, the system builder said.
Michael Schwab, co-president of D&H Distributing, said the impact of the earthquake and tsunami was mitigated by the fact that only a small part of the finished IT products sold worldwide are made in Japan proper because of high production costs there.
Schwab said he saw prices NAND memory jump between 7 percent and 13 percent on Monday, and then pull back, which he said indicates speculation could be an important factor.
"It's hard to say if speculation or true disruption in supply is driving prices," Schwab said. "Some manufacturers are allocating supply."
Rolling blackouts in Japan mean that production lines shut down may not be restarted right away, Schwab said. On the other hand, vendors have inventory to cover a week or so of demand, he said.
"What will happen in the long term is to be determined," he said. "The risk is there. The reality of the situation will take some time to measure."
The flat panel display industry is facing the prospect of a slowdown in production due to the earthquake, according to a blog post by David Hsieh, vice president for the greater China market at analyst firm DisplaySearch.
Hsieh wrote that the majority of TFT LCD factories are located outside of the area impacted by the earthquake and tsunami, and that Hitachi Display, NEC, Toshiba, and Epson plants in the impact area appear to have not been damaged. However, he wrote, those plants have likely been shut down to gauge possible damage and to recalibrate production. In any case, those plants are relatively small, and probably would not have much of an impact on total TFT LCD production, he wrote.
There are LCD color filter lines in the quake area, but they feature older technology, and so should not have a significant impact on the industry. Production lines of other LCD components may have been impacted as well, but nothing that would hurt the LDC industry in the long term.
Power outages and transportation problems in northeastern Japan could also impact LCD production, Hsieh wrote.
Hsieh wrote that the earthquake was also felt in Korea, where some sensitive LCD production equipment stopped for a short time. The manufacturers are apparently calibrating their equipment, he wrote.
Overall, Hsieh wrote, there does not appear to be any major impact or damage to the LCD supply chain.
"However, the uncertainly and insecurity resulting from this disaster might undermine consumer and business confidence. Along with concern about oil prices, the earthquake in Japan might further psychologically influence consumers and businesses, though in a subtle manner. In summary, we think that the impact of the earthquake on the TFT LCD industry could be more damaging psychologically than physically in terms of the FPD industry," he wrote.
Next: Impact On Notebook Battery Production