Thailand floods cause hard drive prices to soar

If you bought a new hard drive for your PC within the past month, consider yourself very lucky. As we reported earlier this month, a massive flooding event in the country of Thailand, which is the world's number two exporter of hard drives, was expected to cut into supplies. Now Reuters is reporting that hard drive makers have increased prices for their products by as much as 40 percent.

Hard drive factories are from companies like Western Digital are being shut down due to the floods in Thailand. The end result is that hard drive inventories are disappearing here in the US, not just from big PC makers like Dell and HP but most likely from your local computer store as well. This could also affect PC supplies as a whole, during the very busy holiday season. In fact one company, NetGear, claims that hard drive distributors are using the floods as an excuse to increase hard drive prices by more than double their normal amount.

We sometimes take for granted that products such as hard drives will always be available and that prices for those drives would continue to go down. With no end to the floods in Thailand in sight, this current situation could put a big dent in PC sales at a time when the industry certainly doesn't need it.

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40 Comments

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The best thing people can do is put off buying any drives until the prices come down. If enough people hold off on buying a drive, companies will be forced to drop prices. Hopefully this will be a wake up call to most companies that they can't afford to put all their eggs in one basket and move production operations to more than one physical location, a lesson similar to what a lot of companies learned from the tsunami in Japan.

I'm surprised this is only just being reported. UK prices have been growing rapidly for a while now, I could barely find anyone discussing it!
Really bad news, if you have a disk fail now it's going to cost like 3 times more to replace it

Another reason why competition is good. More manufacturers would have meant this was a non event. Now we're stuck as with so many things...

I bought a 2tb WD Green for 69.99 on Amazon little over a week ago.
Just checked and it's $149.99 for the same drive.

Wonder how long the prices will stay high? Even when the real reasons they may be short is over, companies will be slow to give up easy money I suspect.

DJ Specs said,
Any excuse to gouge the customer. Considering in many places stock is several months old.

It is supposedly going to take Western Digital 4 months to bring production back up to where it was. Yes I do think this should affect prices for hard drives now.

Our supplier (who buys directly from WD) stated that it may be faster for them to move the factory and rebuild somewhere else than wait for the flood water to recede then clean up the mess and rebuild. All of the companies that supply parts for the hard drives (not just the factories that assemble them) are affected as well. One source states 2 meters of flood water.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/ca...e-wds-flooded-thai-factory/

Wow. I built a desktop for my mom as a budget build about 2 weeks ago. She wanted to wait initially, but damn. We got lucky.

Time to start switching to SDD, besides I have a whole bunch of a HDD's, so I don't need any in the near future and besides there's also online storage, so the question to ask now is online storage going to be affected by this?

Fry's Electronics has announced on it's website they are limiting hard drive purchases to only 1 per customer due to the flooding.

This is really going to affect many companies. All outstanding server quotes will have to be delayed for at least 4 months or re-quoted at much higher prices. Customers are likely to wait out non-essential work until the supply is back to normal, but until then service companies will have a massively reduced income.
I can see many support/services companies going to the wall because of this.

I was lucky. On Oct 17 I picked up four (4) Hitachi Deskstar 5K300 - 3TB drives before the prices went up at $119.99 each ($479.96 total) on Newegg.

Now the drives are listed at $219.99 each (almost double in price). I would have had to pay $400 more to get the same 4 drives now. *insane*

It's also pretty bad for companies that make storage systems, like SEPATON. Before, they were happy to replace some drives pro-actively. Now they tell me to wait until a failure happens.

2TB Samsung F4 went from 65€ to 170€...

I was about to buy 2 (to 4) of these when the prices went up... now I have to make due without them^^

Thank god i dont buy HDDs so often but this is exploiting the market.
*wishes hard disk doesnt break!*

jesseinsf said,
They make the consumer pay for natural disasters. How nice. I guess those countries have no flood insurance.

It's called supply and demand. Has nothing to do with insurance.

jesseinsf said,
They make the consumer pay for natural disasters. How nice. I guess those countries have no flood insurance.

You don't have a human right to cheap HDD.

The Dark Knight said,
Only a nut would use an SSD purely for storage, given what they cost!
I use it for my windows and application installs. Games and everything else goes to my HDD

The Dark Knight said,
Only a nut would use an SSD purely for storage, given what they cost!

Yeah. But if the industry were to move towards SSDs, the cost will be driven down significantly (like SD cards and thumbdrives). Hopefully one day we'll get there.

SojIrOu said,
Yeah. But if the industry were to move towards....

Yes, I know, I was talking about the current scenario. The cost will definitely come down one day. I only replied to the post which said we should ditch HDD's and move to SSD's. The cost just doesn't justify this move at this point in time.

The Dark Knight said,

Yes, I know, I was talking about the current scenario. The cost will definitely come down one day. I only replied to the post which said we should ditch HDD's and move to SSD's. The cost just doesn't justify this move at this point in time.

Actually, this could push SSD prices down.

Tony. said,

Actually, this could push SSD prices down.

How? If the demand for them goes up without the supply increasing, their price will also increase. Long term it could push their prices down a bit if people continue to buy more SSDs because of hard drive prices increasing which would cause SSD manufactures to make more.

lflashl said,
havent we been talking about this for the past 1-2weeks?

yea effected my work about a week ago, TB drives are double craaazy!

lflashl said,
yea ill wait for the prices to go down. I have enough space for now!

ohhh no. i ran out of space on my hdd.

*throws **** on cloud storage* -_-