Chinese coal mine operators have cancelled leave of their workers and raised their pay to make the most of the high price window before the government reintroduces output limits.
Despite prices falling by 16% from their peak two years ago, they are still reasonably high for miners to make profits, reported Reuters.
A private coal miner was quoted by the news agency as saying: “At current price levels, we would love to have 73 hours in a day, so that we can produce as much as possible.”
The urgency among miners indicates that the government may again impose restrictions after the winter and Chinese New Year festivals.
Last April, Beijing ordered the mines to cut the number of operating days from 330 to 276 as part of its efforts to cut supply glut and reduce inefficiencies.
The world’s largest coal user once again rolled back regulations to avoid energy crisis during the harsh winter season.
Sublime coal analyst Zhang Min was quoted by Reuters as saying: “In 2015 and 2016, most of the coal mines we visited were shutdown starting 1 January. This year, they are postponing the holiday to as late as 27 January.”
Most of the mines have slashed the holiday leave of workers by ten to 20 days.
Several mines have also increased wages during this period by 30%-50%.
Coal analysts believe that the country may announce new regulations around March.