Hard disk prices have doubled for some PC manufacturers following the floods in Thailand.
Floods hit the tech manufacturing hub last week, shutting down factories that make hard disks and other tech components.
Farooq Ahmed, director of the UK-based Arbico Computers, said over the past few weeks, a 500GB drive jumped in price from around $40 to $105, a 1TB has leapt from $60 to $130, and Ahmed has seen prices top $160. He said 2TB hard drives were $80 to $100 before the floods, and are now between $200 and $220.
"It's up everyday," he said, noting prices are going up at a rate of about $8 a day this week. "People are trying to make as much money out of it as possible."
"I've never seen a shortage like this before in any component, except higher-end graphics," he said.
For hard drives, he said his suppliers are not expecting any stock for the next two to three months, with short supplies for up to the next six months.
"We've had to increase prices [for PCs] by £40 ($65) in the last week and a half," Ahmed said. "If we don't, we're selling at a loss."
Tight margins mean there's simply no room for PC makers to absorb such costs, with Ahmed saying his firm is "lucky" to get a 10% margin on a PC, with some bringing in only 1% or 2%.
Ben Miles, a spokesman from Chillblast, reported a similar situation. "It's just gone absolutely insane," he said. "There's a fair amount of profiteering and suppliers that do have stock," he added.
He said Chillblast has already had to raise prices on all systems except those it's contractually required to keep the same - and on those it's making a substantial loss.
Miles said his firm normally keeps two weeks' worth of hard disks in stock, but has bought up enough for two months to ensure customers receive their orders. "It's more stock than we've ever had, and we paid a monstrous amount for it," he said.
The problem is affecting manufacturers globally, with Acer saying the floods would hurt its revenue next quarter, and prices would have to increase.
“The whole PC production chain is stuck at a bottleneck,”said Acer CEO JT Wang, according to the Financial Times. "This is not a problem that we can solve by ourselves and so we have started raising prices” of PCs, he added.
This article originally appeared at pcpro.co.uk