As the Coronavirus spreads around the world and leads countries to enforce lockdown regulations in order to 'flatten the curve,' industries are getting hit all around the world. The latest to fall victim is the storage devices industry, which resides for the most part in Malaysia and the Philippines in Southeast Asia.
As reported by Storage Newsletter, HDD manufacturing in the Philippines has halted for a minimum of three days, and other storage(-related) manufacturing has also come to a crawl or stopped entirely. These slowdowns are a consequence of the Coronavirus spreading throughout the area.
Storage industries operate on very lean manufacturing methods with 'just-in-time' supply chains, meaning that relatively small disruptions in one part of the chain can have lasting effects on the industry's economies. As little as a one week outage could ripple through the storage supply chain in no time, creating measurable price spikes mere weeks after incidents. An event such as the Coronavirus that causes weeks, if not months, of labor and parts shortages can have a devastating effect on such industries, taking years to recover from.
The situation reminds us much of the Thailand floods in 2011, from which the markets took years to recover, with some arguing that prices technically still haven't recovered fully.
We must also factor in that in this crisis, more and more people are working from home, putting pressure on network operators to keep data running smoothly. This has lead to an increase in demand for networking products, but will also lead to increased demand for storage products as content providers attempt to bring their media closer to the end-consumer, reducing long-distance data travel.
For shoppers, this doesn't mean that you should go out and stock up on hard drives for the next decade. However, if you're in need of a new hard drive or SSD in the next few weeks, it might not be a bad idea to enjoy the low storage prices while they last.