Worldwide USB Pricing Up Today!

Worldwide flash memory pricing has spiked upwards today. The commodity market price increase will affect mostly 1 GB and up capacities. There is no clear reason for the price spike, however it could be that the recent Chinese holidays and factory closures have caused production issues or supply and demand concerns.

USB flash drive pricing is NOT a stable or fixed cost like other promotional products such as mugs, pens, magnets etc. Flash memory is a traded commodity, like gold, silver, corn, oil or pork bellies. And it is subject to change, just like all the other commodities are. The immediate pricing of USB’s can be affected by any number of things, including, but not restricted to:

  • Supply and demand. Like all products, this commodity is subject to the whims of the marketplace.
  • Natural disasters. Like the recent Japanese tsunami and nuclear disasters.
  • Important political or social events. These may disrupt and/or delay production.
  • Huge market buys. Corporations like Apple who buy or speculate on massive amounts of flash memory.
  • Our Canadian Dollar also affects our pricing, since flash memory is priced and sold in US Dollars.

The Economics and Process

Most flash drive distributors will order their USB memory at the time your order is finalized, confirmed and approved. Flash memory pricing is usually stable on a weekly basis. Canadian Dollar trading is also reasonably stable, on a weekly basis. This is why our policy here is to honour our quoted pricing for the current week, unless there is a major swing in USB memory pricing.

After the 2011 Japanese tsunami disasters, memory pricing rose by up to 50-75% in some capacities. And it took months to get back to “normal” levels. This week’s spike is fairly significant and will affect recent quotes in 1GB, 2GB, 4GB, 8GB and 16GB USB capacities.

Please understand that we (at Flash Drive Canada) do operate with razor thin margins, and that we also have NO control of the USB memory commodity pricing. With small “normal” fluctuations, we can absorb costs to a degree…but larger fluctuations do have to be addressed by re-quoting. Especially since the spike affects worldwide USB pricing.

How Can We Protect Against This?

You will notice that we always add expiry dates or reminders on our website, our online quote pages and on our order confirmations. We also include specific strategies on our quote pages, on exactly how and when to make your purchase of your USB’s. We cannot predict USB memory commodity pricing, but we do know that prices tend to rise quickly and fall slowly…so it is usually better to be quick to pull the trigger on your quoted USB project.

…As opposed to waiting till the next week.

We realize that this may cause budgets to be re-evaluated, or that your boss or committee may not understand (or accept!) why prices have changed suddenly. That’s why we humbly offer this explanation, in the hopes of everyone having a better understanding on exactly how the USB industry’s pricing works for all flash drive distributors, worldwide.