China Launches Anti-Dumping Probe into EU Pork Imports Amid Trade Tensions

China has initiated an anti-dumping investigation into pork imports from the EU, targeting Spain, the Netherlands, and Denmark, following EU's anti-subsidy duties on Chinese electric vehicles. This probe, which could extend to June 2025, might impact global pork trade dynamics, potentially benefiting non-EU suppliers.

Reuters | Updated: 17-06-2024 20:11 IST | Created: 17-06-2024 20:11 IST
China Launches Anti-Dumping Probe into EU Pork Imports Amid Trade Tensions
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China has opened an anti-dumping investigation into imported pork and its by-products from the European Union, a step that appears mainly aimed at Spain, the Netherlands and Denmark, in response to curbs on its electric vehicle exports. The investigation announced by China's commerce ministry on Monday will focus on pork intended for human consumption, such as fresh, cold and frozen whole cuts, as well as pig intestines, bladders and stomachs. The probe will begin on June 17.

It was prompted by a complaint submitted by the China Animal Husbandry Association on June 6 on behalf of the domestic pork industry, the ministry said. Following the European Commission's June 12 announcement that it would impose anti-subsidy duties of up to 38.1% on imported Chinese cars from July, global food companies have been on high alert for retaliatory tariffs from China.

Spain is the top supplier of pork to China and its pork producers group Interporc said they would fully cooperate with the investigation by Chinese authorities. "The EU and China have plenty of time to reach agreements," Interporc said in a statement.

European pork producers should be able to keep exporting to China tariff-free while the investigation is underway, pending a decision and a tariff announcement by the Chinese side. China's commerce ministry said that the investigation should be completed by June 17, 2025, but could be extended by another six months if required.

Lobby group Danish Agriculture& Food Council warned on Monday that the country's pork sector would be "hit incredibly hard" by any restrictions on sales to China. Pork suppliers

from South America, the United States and Russia could be among those gaining market share if Beijing restricts imports from the European Union. China's state-backed Global Times newspaper first reported late last month that Chinese firms planned to ask authorities to open an anti-dumping investigation into some European pork products, citing an unidentified "business insider".

That was followed by a second report in the same outlet on June 8 requesting officials look into European dairy imports. Chinese authorities have previously hinted at possible retaliatory measures through state media commentaries and interviews with industry figures.

A spokesperson for the European Commission said the bloc was not worried about China opening its investigation and told reporters the EU would intervene appropriately to ensure the investigation complied with all relevant World Trade Organisation rules. The EU accounts for more than half the roughly $6 billion worth of pork China imported in 2023, according to customs data, around a quarter of which was from Spain alone.

Second- and third-ranking, the Netherlands and Denmark last year exported to China pork products worth $620 million and $550 million respectively. China's commerce minister Wang Wentao earlier this month travelled to Spain to court officials ahead of the Commission announcing its decision on whether Chinese electric vehicle producers benefit from distortive state subsidies.

"It will not be the first time that a probe announced in one jurisdiction is responded to in kind, so in view of the EU electric vehicles probe, this is not a surprise," Jens Eskelund, president of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, said. "Free and open markets rely on rules-based trade practices," he added.

Growing alarm over Chinese industrial overcapacity flooding the EU with cheap products, including EVs, is opening a new front in the West's trade war with Beijing, which began with Washington's import tariffs in 2018. EU trade policy is turning increasingly protective against the global ramifications of China's production-focused, debt-driven development model.

Governments typically place anti-dumping duties on imported goods when they suspect the item in question is being sold for less than it cost to produce in order to protect domestic firms. (Additional reporting by Albee Zhang, Ella Cao, Emma Pinedo and Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen; Editing by Bernadette Baum, Mark Potter, Barbara Lewis and Susan Fenton)

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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