Corning, a major supplier of glass for flat panel televisions, said this week that it is expecting a strong demand for glass in the fourth quarter of 2009 thanks to continued strength in worldwide LCD television sales.

Corning Chief Financial Officer James B. Flaws told a technology conference in San Francisco this week that worldwide LCD TV sales in October 2009 increased 45% over the same month in 2008.

Increased October sales occurred in all major TV markets, with LCD TV unit sales up 28% in the U.S., 20% in Europe, 115% in China, and 73% in Japan. Corning now believes global LCD TV sales will exceed 132 million, up from the previous expectation of 129 million sets.

While great news for Corning, the bad news for consumers is that increased demand means the glass supply market is very tight. Since glass is a major cost component in large flat panel televisions, the news means we are unlikely to see declines in pricing until glass supplies pick up.

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