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By | Paul Kunert 3rd November 2011 09:13

Disk prices double after flood - and could 'double again'

Platter chatter says Thai flood will affect us all

Hard disk prices doubled in the past fortnight following the severe flooding in Thailand and could potentially rise by the same amount again, channel sources have warned.

The world's second largest producer of drives behind China, Thailand, is dealing with the aftermath of flooding that has killed 380 people, inundated 14,000 factories and left 660,000 people out of work.

Distributors have already put the brakes on disk drive shipments and are prioritising supply for loyal trade customers ahead of expected shortages. Some analysts estimate that some 48 million fewer drives will be shipped in Q4 than in the same quarter a year ago.

The average price of a 1TB drive was £45 prior to the disaster, but such disks are now being flogged for a 100 quid or more, a distie source told The Reg, adding that given the scarcity of stock "prices could double again".

The severity of the shortfall in supply means that additional price rises are on the cards, predicts James Ward, boss of specialist storage distributor Hammer.

"Shortages became so severe so quickly and will have a lasting impact on the industry for at least the next six to nine months," he said.

Sukh Rayat, senior veep at distil Avnet, added: "Prices could go up significantly further based on what we are seeing in the market."

Not all of the major distributors were willing to make a call on incremental price hikes.

"I believe that for the quarter shipments will be significantly down. I don't know if we'll able to sell more than 40 to 45 per cent of what we could," Alain Maquet, EMEA president at Ingram Micro told The Reg.

Taiwanese vendor Acer has confirmed pending PC price rises due to the supply problems and Asus said it will run out of drives by the end of this month.

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