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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Continued Thai flooding raising disk drive prices

SAN FRANCISCO — Continued flooding in Bangkok, and throughout Thailand is resulting in higher prices for computer hard drives and is expected to affect PC distribution channels through the end of the year.

Companies such as Seagate Technology and Western Digital Corp. have hard-drive manufacturing facilities in Thailand, which is second only to China as a supplier of hard-disk drives.

Western Digital recently warned that its operations in the country have been impacted by plant closures resulting from the nation’s worst flooding in decades.

Technology research firm IHS iSuppli has estimated that worldwide shipments of hard drives could fall by 30 percent during the last three months of the year. Reuters reported that some retailers contacted have raised the average price on a hard drive to $90 from $60.

In addition to closing the operations of several tech manufacturers, the flooding in Thailand is blamed for causing the deaths of 377 people since July.

In Bangkok on Saturday, volunteers raced to shore up the city’s defenses against a massive flow of water that has already inundated parts of the capital and a vast swath of countryside, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Swelling high tides, expected to peak this weekend, on the Chao Phraya River that winds through the heart of the city make the weekend critical, the Journal said.

Rising water levels sweeping in from the Gulf of Thailand were flooding riverside districts such as Bangkok’s Chinatown and making it difficult to channel floodwaters from upstream out to the ocean, according to the report.

Samsung Electronics Co. warned on Friday that sales of personal computers could be affected by a shortage of hard-disk drives, while Taiwanese computer maker Acer Inc. said it is raising PC and notebook prices as hard-drive prices rise, the Journal reported.

With floodwaters not expected to recede for weeks, Acer Chief Executive J.T. Wang said fourth-quarter sales could fall 5 percent to 10 percent compared with the third quarter, according to the Journal.

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