Caterpillar Predicts Latin America Boom, China Recovery

Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) expects Latin American demand for mining equipment to outpace other regions in the next two to three years as the Chinese economy recovers from a slowdown, Chief Executive Officer Doug Oberhelman said.

Brazilian demand is growing 5 percent to 6 percent annually as new mines and oil field development are planned in the region’s biggest economy, Oberhelman told reporters in Santiago today. He forecast a recovery in China and record global demand this year.

“China is recovering a little bit and before the end of the year we will see more activity” there, Oberhelman said in comments that were translated from Spanish.

Caterpillar predicts the company’s total revenue in 2012 will surpass last year’s record of $60.1 billion, Oberhelman said. The company has spent about $20 billion on capacity expansions, research and development and acquisitions such as Bucyrus International Inc. over the last two years, Chief Financial Officer Ed Rapp said Feb. 2.

Chile and Peru will provide “significant” demand for Caterpillar’s mining equipment division, he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Matthew Craze in Santiago at mcraze@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Attwood at jattwood3@bloomberg.net

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