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Fall-out from Thai floods set to run into first quarter

Simon Quicke

As manufacturer inventories run dry and prices start to climb further the impact of the Thailand floods on the hard disc drive market is likely to make it a difficult period from the start of next year.

The floods devastated large parts of the country and hit HDD production factories particularly hard and there have been numerous warnings that prices and availability are going to be a problem.

The latest to add their voice to the growing chorus warning of problems is the chief engineer at data recovery company Kroll Ontrack Robert Winter who has pointed out that perhaps the worst is yet to come.

"As pre-existing stocks run out, delays and uncertainty may dominate the global supply chain, with production stagnating across the board.  While the impact has so far been mitigated by suppliers' inventories, hard disk prices are already on the rise, with the most popular size of disks becoming scarce," he said.

Intel was one of the most recent high profile names to warn that it would be hit by the fall-out from the floods and the pressure to get hold of stocks is something that Winter thinks could become exacerbated in the new year.

"We could get into a situation where disk storage becomes a squeezed commodity, which would be a serious concern in a world where data volumes are increasing exponentially.  The potential scarcity of storage may mean users will be forced to consider the data they're storing more closely: they may need to think carefully about what data they store, where it's stored and its relative importance," he added.
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