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Thailand floods to cause 50m HDD shortfall

Flooding shuts Western Digital and Toshiba plants

Thailand floods to cause 50m HDD shortfall
Flooding has closed hundreds of factories in Thailand.

Flooding in Thailand will cause an estimated 28% drop in the supply of hard drives, leading to a 50m unit shortfall, analysts predict.

The flooding, which has killed 350 people since July, has hit manufacturing facilities of drive manufacturers Western Digital and Toshiba, along with drive component manufacturers.

Analysts believe supplies of hard drives are likely to be affected well into March next year, resulting in production of only 105-115m units to end of December, falling short of demand of 170-180m units.

Thailand accounts for some 40% of global hard drive production, and floods in low lying areas have hit several facilities. Western Digital and Toshiba plants in Navanakorn Industrial Estate Zone have been flooded, and Western Digital has also closed its Bang Pa-in Industrial facility.

Seagate, which also has production facilities in the country, has escaped any damage to its plants, but may struggle with component supplies. Nidec, which accounts for 70-80% of hard drive motors has been affected, and is trying to shift production from Thailand to China and the Philippines.

Analysts predict that the shortfall in demand will push up prices of drives, with a knock-on effect for PC manufacturers such as Dell and HP. The flooding may result in some uptick of solid state drive sales, although these would not replace demand for larger capacity drives.

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