On May 15, Fenwei surveyed 20 thermal coal mines in main production areas. Among them, five raised prices by 5-15 yuan/t; 9 held prices stable; one cut price by 5-10 yuan/t; and five stopped production. Thermal coal stock levels were low at mines amid decreasing operating rates, due to production interruptions from environmental checks in Shaanxi. Thermal coal production has limited growing room in Inner Mongolia and Shaanxi, due to strict control of coal sales tickets. As demand of downstream utilities was strong, some miners in Shaanxi have depleted sales quota in the month and have to suspend production. Outlook from salesmen surveyed by Fenwei were divided. Most of them thought future thermal coal prices may increase in light of tight supply, robust sales and the upcoming summer peak season for thermal coal use. However, several having inactive transactions at mines were not so bullish, believing coal price will drop as it has already hit a high.