* Sees 2009 coal sales at upper-end it of prior forecast
* Says increased Chinese demand, driving brighter outlook
TORONTO, June 20 (Reuters) - Teck Resources Ltd TCKb.TO said on Friday it expects 2009 coal sales to be at the upper end of its previously announced range of 18 million to 20 million tonnes.
The company expects second quarter sales of about 5 million tonnes and third quarter sales in excess of 6 million tonnes.
Teck said its increased confidence in demand was due to a significant increase in sales to China. Furthermore, the company said its planned temporary production shutdowns at several mines have now been canceled in order to meet the increased demand.
The company said increased production and sales for the remainder of the year are expected to significantly reduce site unit operating costs. Cost of sales in 2009 are expected to be in the range of C$53 to C$56 per tonne. ($1= $1.13 Canadian) (Reporting by Euan Rocha)