Seagate struggles to meet demand as rivals cease production

Hard drive prices surge on Thai flood supply constraint

Photos have emerged which show the extent of the flooding at Western Digital’s Thailand manufacturing facilities as the supply of hard drives continues to be impacted.

The Bright Side of News posted a number of images of the flooded WD factory and surrounding regions. The images were sourced from UK etailer Scan which has restricted the sale of hard drives to one per customer.

While Western Digital’s manufacturing facilities have been directly impacted, other manufacturers such as Seagate have suffered up stream component shortages due to the floods.

Seagate announced that the drive maker was donating $1 million to aid in relief and recovery operations in the region. Seagate also said that unconstrained demand was expected to be in the region of 180 million but the floods have resulted in supply constraint to 110-120 million units.

As one of the lucky few less affected by the floods, Seagate stands to gain from the woes of market leader WD. With plans to ship up to 45 million units in the December quarter, Seagate’s share price has surged from a low of $9.49 to over $18 in recent trading.

One impact of the supply shortage is that prices have risen sharply, particularly for larger model units. This price graph shows the price fluctuation of the 1TB Samsung Spinpoint F3 with the price rising from $49.99 to $149.99.

There is of course a human side to the trajedy with a BBC report on Sunday revealing that the Thailand flooding death toll is expected to exceed 500. Residents of eight of the capital Bankok’s 50 districts have been told to evacuate.

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