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Kubota Corp. said Tuesday it suffered a 12 percent drop in third-quarter profit because of rising steel costs and slowing demand in North America and Japan, its largest markets.

Net income fell to ¥16.9 billion in the three months ended Dec. 31 from ¥19.2 billion a year earlier. Sales rose 3 percent to ¥277.6 billion. The numbers were derived from nine-month earnings released by the Osaka-based company, the biggest maker of compact tractors in the United States.

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