Production is now back to normal.
Toshiba is blaming the temporary closedown on a ransomware attack on the company’s computer systems.
Whereas it had been expected that weaker demand would depress the price of flash in Q4, it is now expected that the supply shortage caused by the loss of the Toshiba wafers will keep prices at their current high level.
This sort of thing has happened in the memory industry before.
Last year it was reported that one of the Korean DRAM suppliers had been forced to scrap between 30k and 50k wafers. No reason for the scrappage was reported, but it came after 18 months of falling DRAM prices
On another occasion, Samsung said that a power outage had affected DRAM production. DRAM prices rose and Samsung’s shares rose, but Samsung’s electricity supplier, the Korea Electric Company, denied there had been any power outage.
In December 2010 Toshiba announced that a power outage at its Yokkaichi plant would cut NAND supply by 20% in January and February 2011. The market obligingly responded with a hike in NAND prices.
Then there was the fire at the Japanese resin factory which was said to have hit the supply of plastic packages for memory chips. The price of DRAM got a major boost.