Mining company Pike River Coal is confident it will haul in the agreed price of $US300 a tonne for its first coal shipment, despite slowing demand due to a huge reduction in steel making.
The company is increasing production at its mine to extract 150,000 tonnes by the end of June.
At the same time, major coal producers are negotiating the next contract price for coal with steel mills.
Pike River Coal chief executive Gordon Ward said market observers have predicted a price of $US130 to $US150 a tonne this year.
The company is due to issue its quarterly update report on Friday.
Meanwhile, state-owned coal mining company Solid Energy is holding talks about disruptions to its exports in Asia, and will comment further in about a week.