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HDD manufacturing still impacted by Thailand floods

After the floods in Thailand last year, Hard disk drive prices soared when many factories were damaged. The prices started to drop recently, however full recovery is still some time away. Experts we spoke to over the weekend claim that a full recovery of production is still many months away. Unit shipments are not expected to return to normal until at least September.

iHS iSuppli Memory & Storage research indicates that Q3 will be the time frame for a full recovery.

The floods have damaged global hard drive shipments in the fourth quarter of 2011, by 26 percent compared to the same period the year previous. Shipments are said to drop another 13 percent in the first quarter and 5 percent in the second quarter. The analysis confirms that a 49% surge should happen in the fourth quarter as the industry recovers.

Fang Zhang, storage analyst for iHS said “The recovery of global HDD manufacturing has begun and will continue during each quarter of 2012. However, the recovery will be prolonged for at least two more quarters, as supply constraints keep shipments from climbing on an annual basis until third quarter. Meanwhile, HDD prices will remain inflated and inventories will continue to be depleted, showing that demand is exceeding supply. Supply and demand should return to balance by the end of the third quarter.”

Some companies have tried to move production to other locations to help deal with the shortage of drives. Western Digital have increased manufacturing in other countries with a plan to return to full production by September.

Kitguru says: Prices will remain high for some time, meaning that many people may opt for a Solid State drive instead.

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