* Truck shipments fall 4 pct vs Reuters poll +10 pct
* South America deliveries down 66 pct vs forecast -21 pct
* Shares fall 1.2 pct (Adds analyst comment, shares, detail)
STOCKHOLM, Feb 19 (Reuters) - Global truck maker Volvo posted January deliveries below market expectations on Thursday, as a steep plunge in shipments in South America weighed due to weaker deliveries in Brazil.
Handelsbanken analyst Hampus Engellau said he was somewhat surprised that market expectations had not been lower for South America deliveries.
“We knew there would be big production stops in Brazil during four-five weeks in the first quarter to adjust supplies,” he said, adding Volvo shares would be weak in Thursday’s trade due to the change.
Volvo’s deliveries plunged 66 percent in South America in January compared to the 21 percent fall seen by analysts.
Total shipments fell 4 percent year-on-year, while the mean forecast in a Reuters poll of analysts was for deliveries at the maker of Volvo, Mack, UD Trucks and Renault trucks to rise 10 percent year-on-year.
Volvo said deliveries rose 1 percent in its biggest market, Europe, while they were up 14 percent in North America and 3 percent in Asia.
Analysts had expected an increase of 4 percent in Europe, 20 percent in North America and 13 percent in Asia.
Volvo said deliveries in North America were boosted by continuously high demand due to fleet renewal and a healthy economy.
Volvo shares were down by 1.2 percent at 0833 GMT. (Reporting by Helena Soderpalm)