Flooding causes spike in HDD prices, Asus might run out this month

By on November 3, 2011, 6:04 PM

The catastrophic flooding in Thailand is expected to cause a drastic shortage of hard drives according to researchers at iSuppli. Some 660,000 Thailand residents are reportedly out of work after the country shuttered 14,000 factories, including facilities that produce hard drives for Western Digital and Seagate. Hard drive shipments are expected to decline 27.7% from 173 million units in the third quarter to 125 million in the fourth.

Both companies have adjusted their shipment estimates, but they've raised prices to meet revenue forecasts. Average hard drive prices will increase by 10% according to iSuppli, but certain models have increased by as much as 20 to 40%. Western Digital has been more affected by the flooding and analysts believe the company will lose market share to Seagate, which has roughly double the shipment forecast for the present quarter.

Although some vendors have sufficient stock reserves to avoid disruption in desktop and notebook shipments for months, Asus isn't so fortunate. The Taiwanese manufacturer expects to ship 4.1 million notebooks, 600,000 Eee Pads and 1.2 million Eee PCs in the fourth quarter, down from 4.3 million, 800,000 and 1.3 million in the third quarter. At least part of that forecasted decline is blamed on the production crunch in Thailand.

Aerial shot of a residential district in northern Bangkok -- via Boston

Asus only has enough drives to make it through the end of November. "Substitutes for HDD are very few, so if the situation persists, not only notebook production will be affected but also desktops, and other component shipments will also drop," Asus CFO David Chang told Reuters. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be any quick relief in sight and the Thai government has said it hopes to have factories running again in three months.

The price hike has already trickled down to the consumer market. Skimming through Newegg, the 1TB Samsung Spinpoint F3 has risen about $70 to $140 and most 2TB drives are well beyond the $200 mark. Western Digital's 1TB Caviar Green is up to $130 while the performance-oriented Caviar Black has jumped to $170. Unsurprisingly, the new 3TB drives have also increased drastically with Hitachi's Deskstar and Ultrastar at $400.

User Comments: 20

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Nima304 said:

Ugh, this is terrible. I completely sympathize with the folks in Thailand, but I was really looking forward to buying a couple 2TB drives for my computer, which I'm building this month. Guess I'll have to hope that prices go back down by Christmas.

And to all companies, don't put all your cards on one table. Spread 'em out, lest this happens to you next.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Well I guess SSD's pricing doesn't look quite as bad now

I noticed the price rise last week. Went to order a WD Black Hard Drive and it was at £80!

I do feel for the country though, I know i wouldn't like a flooding to happen in my area and I feel for all of those affected.

tonylukac said:

Shouldn't put all their eggs in one basketcase. Glad I just built my new pc last month, before noah's ark.

Guest said:

What is it about these companies that makes them think we're so stupid we'll pay quadruple the price just because they're having supply issues? I'm simply not buying another hard drive before the prices are back to normal. Even if I was desperate for a new hard drive, I wouldn't pay 360$ for something that cost me 90$ last month (like my 2TB WDC Green).

Guest said:

Totally agree with the fact im not gona pay more cuz of supply issue.

I sympathies with the folded people.

BUT its not like there aren't 2 billions hard drives already built in stores and warehouses! The only thing this could do is get the old stuff off the shelves

Just my 2 cents


Guest said:

When I read something like "they've raised prices to meet revenue forecasts" this says to me they have raised prices to meet sales figures for scum such as wall st and co.

TorturedChaos, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I was going to buy a new 1TB WD Black drive this week but not after I saw the new prices on newegg. Went from $90 to $199 screw that.

Guest said:

I suspect prices will go up even for stuff on the shelf.

Oil futures change and in less than a day

gas prices go up. It is not like the gas station just bought more expensive gas.

It is all about perception of the future, and what corporations can get away with.

Guest said:

Doesn't make sense.

Samsung 1tb spinpoint drives I bought almost three years ago for $59.99 are now selling for $139.99.

They were made in China then, and are made in China now.

spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

It's a conspiracy to drive the SSD market

fpsgamerJR62 said:

It's all just collateral damage to the entire PC supply chain. I'm glad I've already grabbed a pair of 2-Terabyte WD Caviar Black HDDs a few days after the news of the flooding broke. I might pick a couple of 1-Terabyte external drives too if my budget permits. The latest news is that it will take 9 months for the supply situation to recover from this disaster.


If they HAD, Flood Insurance.... Daaa

The Prices would not be effected...


See what happens when u do not have, "FLOOD INSURANCE".

dikbozo said:

My local shop advised me personally of this about 2 weeks ago. They did not raise prices on in stock items but limited sale to 1 per person with the purchase of at least one major component, (i.e. CPU, GPU, MB, case, RAM) to avoid some people hoarding drives. They ran out about a week ago and now prices have risen to these extortionate levels. I have 3 drives I was going to use in a new build but will be holding off for s few months to see what the effect on CPU prices is. I do expect to see some noticeable drops by then.

dikbozo said:

As further to my point above, I I have a stock of some 16 SATA and 6 or so IDE that I use for a variety of long term storage needs. I do wonder how constrained the RMA process will become.

mailpup mailpup said:

If they HAD, Flood Insurance.... The Prices would not be effected...
Whether or not they had flood insurance does not increase the supply of hard drives. The manufacturing facility is still flooded and the equipment is still damaged and unable to produce any goods.

Guest said:

Wow this news really upsets me more that the 500 people who died in these floods

mailpup mailpup said:

@guest above, TechSpot is a technical website that looks at events from a technical aspect. This is a legitimate topic to examine. While we are not unconcerned about the human toll, that aspect is more than adequately covered by other general mainstream outlets.

Jesse Jesse said:

Anyone care to speculate when prices will go back down? I've been reading that it will take 3-6 months after the flood waters recede to rebuild damaged property. Will it be 6 months before prices come back down? I need 4 non-green 2tb drives now and might have to just pony up...

Guest said:

Good thing I've been hoarding HDD's (internal & external) for about a year now. Every time I see a price drop, I'd grab one. My local Best Buy still has the same prices on most of our HDDs though... Especially externals - portable WD HDD 750GB for $59.99

Guest said:

People will pay, just as last year they were paying 2 and $300.00 for the same drives.

I build Servers for businesses and I can assure you that a couple of hundred dollar price increase isn't going to keep them from upgrading. They need this stuff. Additionally, if you're a hard core Gamer who spends $500.00 on a video card, I doubt that you're going to scream about having to pay an extra hundred bucks on a new hard Drive

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