Hard Drive price increase in South Africa

Recent flooding in Thailand as well as the current state of the Rand-Dollar exchange rate has forced hard drive manufacturers, mainly Seagate and Western Digital, to stop manufacturing of their hard drives for the time being.

New prices on Seagate hard drives will be as follows:

500GB – R 599.00
1TB – R 920.00
1.5TB – R 1025.00
2TB – R 1199.00

Mohammed Cassim, the head of Esquire, has stated that he has seen the price of 2 terabyte (TB) hard drives jump by close to 60% in the last couple of weeks. Cassim also mentioned that he expects to see further increasing in hard drive prices up to Q1, 2012.

“South Africa will be a casualty of the hard disk shortage as the Europe, UK and USA markets are preparing for ‘High Season’ and the bulk of Drives will go to those markets,” said Cassim.

Flooding Western Digital

Flooding of Western Digital manufacturing plant in Thailand

Elaine Wang from Rectron SA has agreed with Cassim’s statement and also stated that we can expect limited stock and higher prices well into the new year.

Wang further said that the flooding in Thailand has had an adverse effect on hard drive production. Due to this both Western Digital and Toshiba has suspended production of their hard drives. Western Digital has issued a press statement on 17 October 2011 stating that their employees will remain safe but the flooding will have a major impact on hard drive production well into the December quarter of 2011. This is despite the fact that Western Digital has several other factories in Malaysia, Singapore and the USA.

“While Seagate’s factories have not been flooded, there have been issues in the supply of components that are sourced through the local Thai market,” Wang said.

Wang also explained that hard drive manufacturers tend to keep some level of hard drives aside for situations like this but the panic surrounding the shortage of hard drives have taken it’s toll on the manufacturers’ inventory levels.

“South Africa will be a casualty of the hard disk shortage as the Europe , UK and USA markets are preparing for ‘High Season’ and the bulk of Drives will go to those markets,” said Cassim.

Date: 26 Oct 2011