Memory prices have been on the rise since the beginning of the year, and they show no signs of stopping. Quoting figures from market research firm DRAMeXchange, DigiTimes now reports that DDR3 contract pricing went up substantially in the first half of March alone. 2GB modules reportedly saw a 22% jump to $13.75, while those for 4GB modules went up 16.5% to $23. DigiTimes also quotes a hike of "about 18.5%" for both 2Gb and 4Gb DDR3 chips.
For reference, DRAMeXchange quoted contract prices of around $17 to $17.50 for 4GB DDR3 modules in the first half of January. By my count, we're looking at a 35% increase for 2013 so far—nothing to sneeze at.
Still quoting DRAMeXchange, DigiTimes attributes the hike to China's tablet market, which has been "expanding rapidly [and] spurring demand for standard DRAM parts." And don't expect memory to get cheaper again anytime soon. The site says prices will likely keep going up "in the short term," which will lead "several DRAM manufacturers" to become profitable again later this year.
These gains are already affecting retail listings in the United States. A quick peek at Newegg shows the cheapest 8GB DDR3-1600 memory kit available now sells for $54.99. In late January, by contrast, we reported that Corsair's 8GB DDR3-1600 ValueSelect kit had reached $46.99, up from $37.99 in mid-December.