AGCO Corp. (AGCO), the world’s third- largest maker of agricultural equipment, said North American demand hasn’t peaked and may rise in 2012 because of higher commodity prices and a recovery in the dairy industry.

The region is enjoying a “good” year, Chief Executive Officer Martin Richenhagen said in an interview at Bloomberg headquarters in New York. Demand will “at least be at the same level or slightly higher” next year, he said.

“I don’t see it having peaked already,” Richenhagen said. “We will have a very good year next year.”

U.S. farmers’ capital expenditure is topping out, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. analysts led by Lindsay Drucker Mann in New York said in a September 12 note. The North American agricultural- machinery market accounted for 22% of the Duluth, Georgia-based manufacturer’s 2010 sales.

Corn futures in Chicago have gained 31% in the past year while soybeans have climbed 19%. Milk futures are up 16%.

“Farmers have the money to invest,” Richenhagen said. “I am optimistic for 2012.”

Western Europe sales may increase 5-10% next year, compared with a forecast for a 15% gain in 2011, he said. Europe, Africa and the Middle East made up 49% of AGCO’s sales in 2010.

AGCO said in July that sales will be $8.5 billion to $8.7 billion in 2011 and earnings will be $4 a share.

Deere & Co. and CNH Global NV are the world’s two largest manufacturers of agricultural machinery.

Richenhagen said consolidation among the largest farm equipment makers is unlikely due to antitrust concerns in countries such as the U.S.

AGCO is looking to acquire companies that will round out its product portfolio and geographic reach, and is working on a deal to buy a closely held business that makes self-propelled sugar cane harvesters.

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