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Hynix Raises DRAM Prices by About 15% in April

Hynix Semiconductor, the world's No. 2 memory chipmaker, said on Monday it raised contract prices for computer memory chips by about 15 percent last month and expected further increases in May.

Makers of dynamic random access memory (DRAM), used mostly in personal computers, have pinned their hopes for a recovery in demand in the second half after reeling from overproduction and slower PC demand.

Analysts believe the worst is over for the industry and say chip prices should recover due to spending cutbacks from cash-starved makers and improving demand ahead of the start of the new school year and the year-end shopping season.

"We have raised prices around 15 percent in April," said James Kim, vice president in charge of investor relations at Hynix.

Kim did not provide a breakdown of the increases between the first and latter half of April. He said previously that the DRAM contract price hike for early April was "minimal."

"We have expectations," Kim said, when asked about the prospect of price increases in May.

Kim declined to comment on bigger rival Samsung Electronics' plan to aggressively increase DRAM shipments this year.

Samsung said in late April that the company was aiming to more than double DRAM unit shipments this year, higher than previous market expectations.

Analysts say Samsung's drive could extend the DRAM market's oversupply and add to pressure on smaller rivals such as Hynix.

Samsung had 30.6 percent of the global DRAM market revenue in the first quarter, according to research firm iSuppli. Hynix and Elpida Memory followed with 18.6 percent and 14.5 percent, respectively.

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