The Latest Sign That Coal Is Getting Killed // What is rail freight impact?

From Bloomberg, Jul 13, 2015

Coal is having a hard time lately. U.S. power plants are switching to natural gas, environmental restrictions are kicking in.. Prices have crashed, sure,. But for a real sense of coal’s diminishing prospects, check out what’s happening in the coal bond market.

Bonds are where coal companies turn to raise money for such things as new mines and environmental cleanups. But investors are increasingly reluctant to lend to them. Coal bond prices tumbled 17 percent in the second quarter, according to an analysis by Bloomberg Intelligence.

It’s the fourth consecutive quarter of price declines and the worst performance of any industry group by a long shot. Bonds fluctuate less than stocks, because the payoff is fixed and pretty much guaranteed as long as the borrower remains solvent.

A 17 percent decline is huge, and it happened at a time when other energy bonds—oil and gas—were rising.

Three of America’s biggest coal producers had the worst-performing bonds for the quarter:

Alpha Natural Resources: -70 percent

Peabody: -40 percent

Arch: -30 percent

To read the entire article, go to http://bloom.bg/1Hq3RK3

About 17 percent of U.S. coal-fired power generation will disappear over the next few years, according to an analysis by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Railway coal traffic loss will hurt rail profits somehow. As the markets shifts, how will rail companies respond?

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