The display supply chain experienced a contraction in the third quarter as demand for LCD TVs remained strong worldwide while panel makers ran at lower utilization rates, especially in Korea. We believe the supply chain exited the third quarter with about 14 weeks of inventory, which is a level we have not seen since early 2009. The inventory contraction is a major factor in Corning revising its estimate of the worldwide glass market to 3.2 billion square feet for the year.
LCD glass substrate volume for Samsung Corning Precision (SCP) declined 20% Q/Q and 25% Y/Y in Q3’11. SCP combined with Corning’s wholly-owned subsidiaries experienced a 10% Q/Q decline. Three months earlier Corning lowered expectations to 3.3 – 3.4 billion square feet, from 3.5 – 3.7 for 2011, due to poor TV sales and a more cautionary approach by LCD manufacturers.