The government's deal to limit Australian domestic gas price rises is about to come under enormous pressure from the booming export market in Asia and soaring prices -- which could lead the government to dust off its threatened reservation policy again.

New data emerged yesterday showing Chinese imports of iron ore, coal, copper and oil fell sharply in October -- there was a 23% slump in iron ore imports to their lowest level since February 2016; copper imports also fell to their lowest level since early last year; coal imports were down 12% month on month. Oil also fell, but that was a one-off due to special factors, and can be ignored for now.