back to article Disk prices double after flood - and could 'double again'

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 …


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  1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    Deja vu all around

    Why does this remind me of one particular memory factory incident which ended up with a cartel fine in EU and some jail time for some people ...

    I know Adam Smith says that supply ~ demand, but there are limits to this even in these days of "lean" and short inventories...

  2. CheesyTheClown

    Perfect time to push for SSD

    Seems to me that it's about time that we started making the switch over to SSD. Sounds like a great time for companies with flash fabs to release a cheaper consumer model with 128gigs that will be cheaper than a laptop drive of comparable size with the current market conditions.

    1. JC_
      Thumb Up

      Are HDDs with less than 128GB even made these days? None the less, I agree; if the cheapest 2.5" HDD has doubled in price, then something like the Kingston V100 (£100) is a far better choice.

    2. Tasogare

      But are SSDs also hit?

      I've yet to see any of these articles note whether SSDs are affected by the shortages as well. It doesn't seem unlikely to me that they might use components made in the same place.

      (And I was planning on building a new storage server over the holidays...crud.)

    3. Haku

      SSD still too expensive for bulk storage

      A quick look on Ebuyer shows that a 2TB SATA drive can still be had for less than a 120GB SSD SATA drive, a 1TB SATA is at the £100 mark and a 600GB PCI-E SSD is over £2,400!

      I would love to be able to buy SSD drives for as little as SATA drives, even at todays prices.

      1. Bronek Kozicki

        apples and oranges

        apples and oranges. You are comparing price of generic HDD against Fusion IO which is highly specialized and expensive piece of kit. Look down to Kingston V100 and likes, you may find something which is actually affordable if not as main storage, then at least as a fast boot drive.

  3. Fuzz

    I just managed to get in and order myself a momentus XT that I've been thinking about buying for ages. I got one at £80 for the 500GB model, it's now running at at least £160 and out of stock.

  4. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Spec you later

    We've seen earlier examples of natural disasters leading to component shortages. (Anyone remember many years ago when RAM prices shot up?). The good news is that shortages don't last, and when they do resolve, it usually leads to a glut from overproduction, when all the manufacturers respond to the high prices by increasing production.

    However, these days shortages are also prime targets for speculators to make a quick wad. Sadly, by doing so they exacerbate the problem by buying up the scarce commodity, even though they have no intention of using it themselves. We also see bona-fide manufacturers placing multiple orders, as they realise that they will be rationed. So instead of simply ordering the 10,000 pieces they will expect to need, they order 20,000 in the knowledge that the suppliers will ration sales and only partly fulfill the orders they get.

    Of course in the mean time, it's a brilliant excuse for retailers to jack up the price of techy toys, just in time for christmas.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    just on time...

    I missed the first warning (floods in Thailand, yawn)

    I missed the second warning (floods in Thailand, WD hdd factory, hmm...)

    I woke up to the third warning (pricing could go up, oh shiiiit....)


    no, I didn't buy 1 mln of them to sell off at inflated prices, as one should. Just one hdd, am I not clever...

    on a serious note, it would be interesting to see, if the SSD pricing goes down - or up. Probably up, as the price gap between hdd and ssd shrinks, briefly, and more people will decide to take a leap and catch the ssd production supply chain with the pants down. This should crank up the production though and (flooding permitted) when the hdd prices go down again, ssd should follow. But right now, while many people grind their teeth at the hdd price hike, many others, like the SSD industry - rejoice. And yes, in volatile times there is always a chance to increase margins. Production, say, down by 20%, pricing say, up by 57.5%. Which punter will know how much the hike is due to flooding and how much to the opportunistic increase in margins?

    1. Daniel B.

      At least you got your HDD. I also ignored the first and second warnings; now I had to settle with an external HDD as all the internals have gone poof from the channel :(

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Most external HDDs contain an internal hard drive that is easily removed.

        1. Daniel B.

          Of course...

          I can extract the HDD from the external one, but buying the external one means I'm paying more for the HDD anyway. Though it might end up being cheaper than the new pricing given for HDDs in the near future...

  6. The BigYin


    Where are these prices coming from? I can buy a 2TB drive for £78 without much trouble. A 1TB is about £55. Prices are slightly higher, but not double.

    1. tmTM

      Where are you buying from?

      Most online retailers have bumped the prices right up, they're accurate from what I've seen so far :(

      1. The BigYin

        Weren't whne I posted

        Amazon (to name one) had reasonable prices.

        Now? Take that reasonable price and multiply it by silly.

  7. Ron Luther

    Let Them Eat Cake

    Pffft! Just store everything in the cloud. There. That's sorted then.

  8. MacGuru

    I needz drivz

    I'm in the market for 4 x 2TB sata... last week they were £55 and in stock, this week when I go to buy they are £125 out of stock.. link please to decent 2TB drive thats cheap and in stock!

  9. James Pickett

    @ Hmmm

    "I can buy a 2TB drive for £78 without much trouble."

    In which case, I should do so. Care to say where..? :-)

    1. Risky

      2TB £78

      Amazon. They are holding their prices to an extent.

      Ebuyer and others are very pricy now.

      1. The BigYin

        They were...

        ...not so much now,

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Thailand is not that big of a supply area. There is no way prices will double, or should even go up. This is nothing but a bunch of nonsense

  11. MacGuru


    Samsung HD204UI Spinpoint F4 2TB Hard Drive SATA 5400RPM 32MB £179.99

    <cough> HOW FURKING MUCH!!

    found 2TB @ Amazon for £80

    Seagate ST2000DL003 Barracuda Green

    Not the best drive.. but guess it will do?

    thanks for heads up

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Two per customer

    Ahh, that's why my local Curry's had a sign on the counter saying only two hard drives per customer.

  13. Busted
    Thumb Down

    Boo hoo £100 for 1TB is nothing see enterprise hdd

    I use enterprise drives and they are really taking the p!$$ atm with the usual 500GB 2.5" constellation that had been £125 up at around the £300 mark.

    Far to much profittering atm...

  14. Mark C Casey


    I bought a couple of 1TB external hard drives for £40.. oh, to hold back a bit longer before selling them or to sell now. Decisions, decisions...

  15. SpottedCow

    Last bastion of pricing in the states...

    Ironically, the last place to have good prices here in the States is the place many would avoid --a big box store like Best Buy, who has not reacted to price changes yet.

    I bought three 1TB five-year-warranty Seagate drives (7200rpm, 32MB cache) on sale for $66.49US (plus tax) each yesterday. Meanwhile, online the same drive with a two year warranty is $139.99US.

    The store had three more on the shelf; I am tempted to pick them up as well at the end of the day today, on the reported possibility that production will be affected through Q2 of 2012. I have customers, and drives fail. I'd spare myself and them the pain of doubled prices if I can.

  16. Anonymous Coward


    They are holding their prices, but ETA on delivery in most cases varies from 3 weeks to 3 months! The only drives I can see that can be delivered within a few days are at top dollar prices.

    Went for a couple of externals in the end which were 40% cheaper and can be with me next week.

  17. toppoff

    1TB £225

    I bought a 1TB WD Black 2 weeks ago. Price one day was £75. Next day, after refreshed stock the price was £90. Bought it then. The current price is £225

    They have nothing under £125 - and I think that's for a 160GB 5400rpm drive.

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