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HDD prices rise with floodwaters

(China Daily)

09:35, November 02, 2011

BEIJING - The price of hard disk drives (HDDs) is rising as devastating floods in Thailand cripple production. Analysts suggest that the effect could last until the end of the first quarter of 2012.

HDD prices have gone up by nearly 50 percent in Beijing after "the worst flooding for half a century" hit the world's second-largest HDD producer.

The price of a 500 gigabyte HDD jumped 56 percent to about 470 yuan ($74) from less than 300 yuan two weeks ago, said venders at an electronics market in Zhongguancun, the largest electronic device distributing center in Beijing.

Thailand provides around 40 percent of the international HDD supply, making it the world's No 2, after China.

"As the flooding hit Thailand's semiconductor manufacturing plants, 80 to 90 percent were HDD-related," said Wang Yang, an analyst at iSuppli Asia Shanghai Ltd.

He suggested that the effects of the disaster on global HDD prices are likely to last until the end of the first quarter of next year.

The flood has affected about 3 million households and 9.9 million people in more than 80 percent of the Thai provinces since July 25. As of Tuesday, the disaster had claimed 384 lives across the country, authorities said.

Research company IHS iSuppli predicted that total drive shipments could fall 28 percent, to 125 million units from 173 million in the third quarter. That's the biggest drop since 2008.

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