Peabody Energy President Rick Navarre said on Wednesday that coal prices may remain weak in the near-term, but will rebound sharply in the coming years due to growing Asian demand.

There will be near-term pain, but a sharp price rebound, Navarre told the McCloskey Group coal conference in New York. Emerging countries in Asia will dominate global growth.

Navarre added that the worst of the economic downturn appears to be behind us.

(Reporting by Steve James)