Caterpillar 3-month machinery sales down 9%

Sales of Caterpillar Inc.’s CAT +0.40% construction and mining equipment fell 9% worldwide in the three months to the end of April, as strong demand from Latin America offset deteriorating sales from North America.

April’s retail sales report for the world’s largest seller of bulldozers, excavators and wheel loaders continued the sluggish sales pattern of recent months. Sales turned negative during the December three-month period for the first time in 30 months and have remained lower ever since. Worldwide dealer-reported machinery sales dropped 11% from a year earlier during the March period and fell 13% during the February period.

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Caterpillar is encountering tougher year-earlier comparisons in most geographic markets. Falling demand for mining equipment because of lower prices for mined commodities, such a coal and iron ore, also has choked down sales of mining equipment.

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