Caterpillar sales figures are continuing to make grim reading.
The trend is downwards for the off-highway bellweather as CAT's once booming Asia/Pacific region showing the worst machinery sales decline, down as much as 28% year-on-year in July this year.
The drop in Europe, Africa and the Middle East is not as steep, with July showing a fall of 12%, whilst a perceived recovery in the North American construction sector could go some way towards the improving figures from a 16% drop in May to just one percent under par by July. Only Latin America offers any immediate hope, with a positive order book throughout the second Quarter.
Caterpillar has been pinning its hopes on a $650 million loan from the US Export-Import Bank that would help seal the contract on a potentially massive order with an Australian mining company - however, the deal is being met with significant opposition from US mining companies who are lobbying hard to prevent competition from global mining giant.
CAT's s long-term future may still depend on increased global demand for mined products and, in particular, the Chinese market where raw material output is still failing to meet demand.