An industry body representing China’s coal-mining industry has vowed to continue its push for output reductions in a bid to lift power-station coal prices by 20 per cent from their trough, according to state media. Wang Xianzheng, the chairman of the China National Coal Association, told an annual meeting of the Coal Industry Committee of Technology at the weekend that more than 70 per cent of the country’s coal miners were losing money and had cut salaries. About 30 per cent of the industry’s miners had not been able to pay their employees on time and a further 20 per cent had cut salaries by more than 10 per cent, the Economic Information Daily , a Xinhua-affiliated newspaper, reported on Monday. Due to weak economic conditions, coal output fell 1.44 per cent year on year in the first eight months of this year to 2.52 billion tonnes, while sales dropped 1.62 per cent to 2.4 billion tonnes, the association’s figures show. Coal inventory last month stayed above 300 million tonnes for a 33rd month. However, the coal price has rebounded “slightly” this month as imports and stocks fell. China’s main coal ports recorded an 8.3 per cent year-on-year decline in inventory at the end of last month, and the national import volume fell 27.4 per cent year on year to 18.86 million tonnes, the association’s figures showed. “The coal market has shown some positive signs, partly due to the short-term factor of maintenance at the Daqin coal railway, [which reduced supply], and partly due to longer-term factors like measures taken by Beijing to support the coal industry,” the association’s deputy chairman, Jiang Zhimin, was quoted as telling the meeting. In July, Wang called on coal-mining firms to reduce output by 10 per cent. Leading listed miner China Shenhua Group has cut its output target for this year by 4 per cent, while rival China Coal Energy has trimmed its target by 10 per cent.