Moody's sees US coal miners' earnings halve this year

The outlook for the North American coal industry remains negative and earnings for coal miners could fall by more than 50% this year, says Moody’s Investor Service.

The ratings agency says the coronavirus pandemic has worsened the outlook for the sector.

"Domestic demand for thermal coal for power generation will fall significantly in 2020 and continue to fall in the 2020s," says lead coal analyst Benjamin Nelson.

"Coal consumption will be crushed in 2020 with the industry taking much of the hit from the drop in electricity demand following outbreaks of coronavirus."