The global shortage in hard disk drives (HDD) brought about by flooding in Thailand in 2011 is expected to last through much of the year, according to IHS researchers.
The analyst firm's latest projections suggest that the drive shortage will continue to plague vendors in the first months of the year as manufacturers work to rebuild their inventories and resume production following the 2011 floods that devastated much of Thailand's factories.
While those factories are getting back on their feet, the firm sees many inventories dwindling and shipments falling by another 13 per cent in the first quarter and five per cent in the second quarter of the year.
"The recovery will be prolonged for at least two more quarters, as supply constraints keep unit shipments from climbing on an annual basis until third quarter," said IHS storage analyst Fang Zhang.
"Meanwhile, HDD prices will remain inflated and inventories will continue to be depleted, showing that demand is exceeding supply."
Analysts do not expect growth in the hard drive market until the third quarter, when factories will finally be able to hit their full stride and global shipments will rise by two per cent. Output is then expected to exploded in the fourth quarter, reaching growth of as much as 49 per cent.
Zhang told V3 that the projections are very much in line with earlier forecasts the company has made for the market, though the latest figures show prices could reach slightly higher levels than expected.
The ongoing hard drive shortage has started a chain reaction which is being felt by a number of other markets.
With storage in short supply, PC sales are expected to drop. Intel recently warned that slow PC sales would in turn hurt its bottom line as manufacturers held off on new chip orders.
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