Branded USB Flash Drive Market Slowly Getting Back to Normal

Prices for branded and promotional USB flash drives have shot up over the last couple of weeks with prices fluctuating by as much as 20% to 30% in a single day.

The earthquake in Japan and the subsequent concerns about long-term supply of flash memory are at the root cause of the price increases. Japan is responsible for the manufacture of around 35% of the world’s flash memory modules and in the days immediately after the earthquake the markets in which flash is bought and sold effectively saw a “run” on the price of flash.

Like any market pricing is driven as much by sentiment and FUD (fear uncertainty and doubt) as much as it is driven by hard fact and it would be fair to say that in the days immediately after the earthquake the market was in turmoil with factories and speculators driving up the price.

Branded USB Flash Drives

A week or so on and things, as far as USB flash pricing is concerned, are beginning to settle down. It would be premature to say things had returned to normal because uncertainty over supply is still a concern but the initial concerns about long lasting damage and severe shortages are dissipating.

With many companies around the world planning to use branded USB flash drives as part of their sales and marketing campaigns it’s a relief that supplies are now not only returning to near normal and that pricing is beginning to settle down.

Fortunately whilst the core price of USB flash drives at the factory gate has increased the effect on the end user has been softened a little by the USD dollar weakening against Sterling (GBP). Today the USD stands at $1.63 compared to $1.55 at the start of the year. Not a huge difference but every little helps in the current market conditions.

If you’re looking to buy USB flash drives and get them printed with your company or school logo on then the advice issued last week remains the same – if you can delay your order by another week or two then you’re likely to get a better price but, if you absolutely have to have them then shop around to make sure you are getting the best possible price you can. Do bear in mind that the usual lead times of around 10 days have increased a little as well so for safety sake add another couple of days and build this into your schedule.

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