Component manufacturer serves 80 per cent of market

Thai floods results in rising hard drive prices

Hard drive prices have already begun to rise as analysts warn of significant shortages following floods in Thailand which have disrupted a number of manufacturers.

Thailand is the world’s second largest exporter of hard drives and both WD and Toshiba have stopped hard drive shipments due to their factories being affected.

IHS iSuppli analyst Fang Zhang said that a hard drive component supplier, motor company Nidec, supplies more than 70 per cent of hard drive motors and also has operations in the affected regions.

DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim said that weak demand for notebooks would limit the effects of the hard drive supply problem but if the flooding continued to disrupt the channel for longer than a month "it could be a limiting factor for notebook PC shipments," he said.

Talking about the flooding generally, Western Digital CEP John Coyne said in a statement: "We suspended production in all of our Thailand facilities from the beginning of last week in order to protect our personnel, and to move as much equipment as possible to locations less likely to incur water damage. At this point, we are thankful that all our employees are safe, and we moved much of the equipment which had been situated on the ground floors to higher floors. Despite the heroic efforts of our team, over the past weekend rising water, which had first penetrated the Bang Pa-in Industrial Park flood defenses, inundated the company’s manufacturing facilities there and submerged the remaining equipment on the ground floors."

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