I think there is just a higher demand for many reasons - Anthracite is being used in steel production more plus more people are turning to home grown fuels do to the cost of Arab oil.
The guy who delivered my TT load of coal said TT loads to private individuals is more common now as people are looking to save money buyin in bulk.
Firewood around here is popular but is also scare because the economy has low demand for hardwood lumber products, hence there is not as much logging going on. Also, people are keeping there tops instead of letting the loggers sell them.
I know another guy that just installed a coal stove in his workshop instead of burning wood.
Demand is up and the industry will be slow to respond as there is major capital investment required to ramp up coal production.
Lesson is buy early. If you buy in summer before the price increases, the money saved will be better than interest earned in the bank by far.