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Thai floods threaten Seagate hard drive supply chain

Disties stockpile as factories go under water

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Seagate is assessing the potential impact of flooding in Thailand on the production of hard disks that forced arch rival WD to temporarily halt manufacturing this week.

Severe flooding has reportedly killed at least 280 people, inundated homes, disrupted transport links and caused chaos at utilities close to WD's facility, which made around 32.5 million drives for the firm last quarter.

WD expects availability to be constrained this quarter as a result and is trying to work around the issues with suppliers.

However, Mark Whitby, veep for EMEA at Seagate, told The Reg his company was still reviewing the extent of the damage.

Although Seagate's factories in Thailand are still running, the company relies on several suppliers in the flood-hit nation. Scores of component assembly lines have been wrecked by the rising waters or left empty as staff can't reach them.

"Seagate's factories are unaffected at this stage and still operational but it's more about the sub component suppliers," he added.

"We are evaluating the situation and will clarify the knock-on impact next week."

It is 'finger in the air' time for distributors but John Osborne, GM for components, printers and supplies at Computer 2000, said his firm was making provisions to counter any potential issues.

"We are making sure our supply chain is as tight as possible," he said.

Dave Stevinson, sales director at VIP Computer Centre, said it was trying to build up disk drive inventories in case a "crisis" materialises. ®

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