'We have reached the peak of the cycle' – German Engineering Federation

European mine suppliers are bracing for sales drops over the next year.

As reported by Reuters, German mining equipment manufacturers have said they are expecting sales drops in the double-digit percentages in 2014.

"We have reached the peak of the cycle," chief of the mining equipment arm of German engineering trade group VDMA told Reuters.

The industry will likely see reduced working hours and job cuts, he warned.

VDMA represents more than 3,000 mid-sized companies in Germany and elsewhere. Some big international players include Caterpillar and Komatsu.

Just a few months ago VDMA was optimistic about future growth. Sales had been rising by an average 13% per year since 2007. According to International Mining, the organization reported a rise in sales for the first half of 2013 and said the mining equipment industry had "recorded an unprecedented series of successes."

While encouraged by exports to China and the US – which rose by 40 and 20% respectively during the first half of the year – VDMA also noted an "atmosphere of uncertainty" at the time.