mrb's blog

1TB Hard Drive Prices up 180% in a Month

Keywords: finance hardware

The Newegg price charts on Camelegg sum this up illustratively:

Thailand manufactures 25% of the world's hard drives, and the severe 2011 monsoon season floods affected some of its largest industrial parks, where many hard drive manufacturers and component suppliers are located, causing worldwide shortages and price increases.

Between October 15th and 21st, water penetrated the Bang Pa-in Industrial Park, the Navanakorn Industrial Park (the largest of its kind in Thailand), and the Bangkadi Industrial Park.

All of Western Digital's and Toshiba's manufacturing sites in Thailand were located in these 3 parks.

All of them have been rendered inoperable.

Seagate is relatively lucky as it is merely affected by the components shortages while none of its factories in Thailand have been inundated according to a November 3rd SEC filing. As a result, Seagate's stock is up +81% between October 6th's low of $10.1 and November 5th's high of $18.3 (disclosure: as a value investor, I hold STX —it was undervalued, and still is.)

Meanwhile, shortages have caused phenomenal hard drive price increases. Over the past month, I observed on Newegg:

  • 1TB SATA hard drives went from $50/TB to $140/TB, +180%, almost triple the price
  • 1.5TB from $47/TB to $93/TB, +100%
  • 2TB from $40/TB to $72/TB, +80%
  • 3TB from $67/TB to $87/TB, +30%

Large-scale data center operators who are currently growing very rapidly with a focus on storage must be financially impacted by the situation. I thought of Amazon Web Services and, sure enough, one of my favorite tech bloggers James Hamilton (vice president on the AWS team) wrote an insightful post entitled Serious Hard Drive Shortage Expected for at Least 2 Quarters. "Higher drive and component prices will persist into the summer months of 2012" Yikes!


Jeff wrote: I've been hunting for external hard drives for christmas and have also noticed some price increases. From what I've seen, the best prices on external hard drives is here: 06 Nov 2011 13:08 UTC

Informatica wrote: Now I will rush and buy some hard drives from my supplier since they seem to be unaware of this situation. 06 Nov 2011 13:50 UTC

John wrote: Need to get the Fed govt involved, Seems like price fixing for the holiday coming up! just when I need 4 1tb hdd's. 06 Nov 2011 17:19 UTC

ugh wrote: john, did you really just say that.. 06 Nov 2011 22:16 UTC

Jimmy wrote: My local Frys had shelves filled to the back with 1 and 2 tb hard drives and most popular models in stock at most online retailers. Understandably prices are higher due to future supply constraints, but the price gouging mfg's are doing seems a bit overdone. 06 Nov 2011 23:25 UTC

josephjpeters wrote: Time for SSD's to really catch on. 07 Nov 2011 04:03 UTC

Christopher wrote: Hey,

It turns out that if you need a HDD it is much cheaper to buy it as an external HDD right now.
07 Nov 2011 10:43 UTC

emil wrote: "1TB Hard Drive Prices up 180% in a Month" really? omg! 07 Nov 2011 21:22 UTC

Harkaran wrote: OMG,,, Bcoz of this my B'day Presnt is post poned..( 1 TB External hard Disk) 10 Nov 2011 15:30 UTC

Shane wrote: I am in the same boat I had my eye on a 2TB WD disk and the price has basically doubled here in Australia 11 Nov 2011 12:56 UTC

Tony wrote: wow, thanks man for the info, I was looking for a price tracker page and camelegg is the best

Also I'm looking for a HDD and prices difference it's huge I think I will buy a SDD Crucial M4 128GB
12 Nov 2011 02:56 UTC

MasterCATZ wrote: hits head on desk was just about to get 24x 2tb HDD's for new array :S

might have to recycle my old 1tb backup drives
( and here I was wanting 3tb's to damn drop more )

great blog also .. helped explain to me why I was now seeing double prices !!
14 Nov 2011 23:06 UTC

externe harde schijf wrote: Here in Holland prices are increasing but nobody knows why.
I will place the info on a new blog on
17 Nov 2011 11:23 UTC

HD-$cam wrote: "All of Western Digital's and Toshiba's manufacturing sites in Thailand were located in these 3 parks"
and, All the other HD manuf's are just along for the $$$ ride.
..., Outsourcing, unbelievably cheap slave labour, and cheap "corporate" taxes, caused this very "avoidable" mess - don't blame it on the weather.
They put ALL their proverbial eggs in one basket, but now, expect us all to bail them out.
If you possibly can, DO NOT BUY any Harddrives for now. Unless SSD's can match this pre-moneygrab HD prices. ?
But I highly doubt they'll do that :)
07 Dec 2011 14:14 UTC

d rock wrote: Ugh... price gouging assholes. 25 Dec 2011 22:01 UTC

Dtanoli wrote: When the prices will come down to normal? 31 Dec 2011 05:58 UTC

Manoj kumar wrote: Tell me when the price down 04 Jan 2012 21:01 UTC

mrb wrote: Dtanoli/Manoj: "Higher drive and component prices will persist into the summer months of 2012". 05 Jan 2012 09:06 UTC

TC wrote: thanks for the blog. I was wondering myself.

I went on a external HD purchase spree in second quarter 2011.
Purchase my first 2TB external at $99 USD and second Iomega at $89

then grabbed a deal for a third (backup in a box at the moment..)
toshiba USB 3.0 - 2 TB for $70 after instant rebate.

I loaned a friend one and was going to buy him one for christmas.. and looked and the USB 2.0 - 500 gig is now over the price for a 2 tb 2 months ago. Needless to say.. I just said hold onto my loaner one.

cheap labor and no work standards are fine for selling.. but in this case they shoot themselves by not having a diversified structure. 150% to 180% = no sale at all for me.
27 Jan 2012 20:10 UTC

BasilBrush wrote: Maybe hard disk prices should be hedged at spot prices like electricity! lol 08 Feb 2012 06:47 UTC

Hard Drive Recovery wrote: Hard Drive prices have gone up significantly and we've had to raise the price for our customers, the prices are ridiculous. I think some companies might be taking advantage of the situation. 28 Feb 2012 22:09 UTC

Joao wrote: In Brazil, the price from september 2011 that we could buy a 1tb, now we buy a 500gb. Now, 1tb Iomega eGO U$361 06 Mar 2012 16:44 UTC

Joao wrote: Samsung 500gb is the cheaper, U$ 150. 06 Mar 2012 16:45 UTC