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Commodities

Memory prices soar 60% from start of year amid virus crisis

Brisk demand for home electronics, pickup in auto output cause shortage

The shortage of semiconductors is pushing up DRAM prices. (Photo by Kei Higuchi)

TOKYO -- Spot prices of dynamic random-access memory chips are rising sharply, with benchmark DRAM prices ascending around 60% since early this year to the highest since March 2019.

An unexpected increase in demand for semiconductors, triggered by booming sales of personal computers and other consumer electronics plus a rapid pickup in automobile production, is behind the soaring prices. Tight supply and demand for DRAMs resulting from U.S. trade sanctions on China is also contributing.

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