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Data Storage Hardware

HDD Price Update: How the Thai Floods Have Affected Prices, 3 Months Later 220

Posted by Soulskill
from the leveling-off dept.
New submitter jjslash writes "The hard disk drive supply chain was hit hard late last year when a series of floods struck Thailand. The Asian country accounts for about a quarter of the world's hard drive production, but thousands of factories had to close shop for weeks as facilities were under water, in what is considered the world's fourth costliest natural disaster according to World Bank estimates. That's on top of the human cost of over 800 lives. TechSpot has monitored a number of mobile and desktop HDDs to get a better overview of how the situation has developed in the last three months."
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HDD Price Update: How the Thai Floods Have Affected Prices, 3 Months Later

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  • by SeaFox (739806) on Wednesday February 08, 2012 @02:23AM (#38964133)

    NewEgg is actually having sales on something besides "recertfied" drives.

  • Digital Cameras? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Wednesday February 08, 2012 @02:51AM (#38964259)

    The Thai floods also disrupted the supply chain for digital cameras. It would be interesting to know how things are doing on that front.

  • spot market effect (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 08, 2012 @03:04AM (#38964311)

    I think lots of people don't understand what happened with Newegg and other retailers. As someone explained it to me, a drive maker like WD has two kinds of customers:

    1) big systems integrators like Lenovo, Dell, HP, etc., who order 100K drives at a time or more
    2) Smaller customers (e.g. resellers) like Newegg, who order maybe 1k drives at a time. If someone wants just 5 drives they have to buy from a distributor or retailer like Newegg.

    The very big customers will order their 100k drives at some preagreed price, delivered over (say) a 3-6 month interval per their production schedules. WD also plans its own production around such large orders. If they get (say) 1 million drives worth of such orders for 1Q2012, they'll (normally) set up their production to make (say) 1.3 million drives, deliver 1 million of them per the pre-agreed contracts, and put 0.3 million on the shelf for to fulfill "spot market" orders from places like Newegg. Depending on market conditions and what the competition is doing, the spot price will fluctuate above or sometimes below what the big OEM's pay.

    When the Thai floods hit, production was cut from (say) 1.3 million to 0.9 million. There was no way to fulfill the agreed contracts, understandable due to the disaster, but they had to make the best effort they could, which meant hand ALL their drives over to OEM's while the likes of Newegg got nothing. So the prices of integrated systems actually didn't jump that much, but spot prices skyrocketed.

    Now that we're a few months into the drama, the OEM's are in a new ordering cycle, they get to pay higher prices too, but WD gets to again allocate some drives to spot inventory. So we'll be seeing higher prices from Dell over the coming months, but some relief on the Newegg side (though the prices will still be higher than before, until around 3Q or 4Q from what I keep hearing).

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