HDD prices are falling eight times more slowly than they rose in the weeks after the flooding in Thailand and look likely to remain inflated until mid-summer.
Idealo.co.uk monitored vendors' online average selling prices (ASPs) across its five price comparison portals and found that disk drives went up 100 per cent in 33 days following the natural disaster.
Yet since 18 November prices have dropped by just 21 per cent due to supply and demand – but cynics might say vendors vendors have exploited the shortages.
The cost of 3.5 inch HDDs soared "twice as rapidly" as 2.5 inch models and "have been hardest hit" – remaining 75 per cent higher than before the shortages first became apparent.
"At their current rate of decrease, HDD prices will remain inflated until late July [or] early August," said a spokesman at Idealo.co.uk told.
According to beancounter IHS, demand for drives will outstrip supply until the middle of the year.
Distributor Avnet Technology Solutions told The Register last month that a 1TB drive was selling at $100, some 40 per cent higher than before the Thai crisis, but $60 cheaper than the peak trading price.
Wholesalers also appear to have been exploiting the situation, with the world's largest distie Ingram Micro confirming that hardening disk prices gave Q4 profits a lift.
Dave Stevinson, sales director at VIP Computers, said many larger distributors and brokers sat on stocks had exploited the rapid price rises to bolster thin margins.
"But they are now back to working off micro margins, small single-digit percentage points," he said. ®