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China opens antidumping investigation into EU pork imports Report | World News


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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 per cent on imported Chinese cars from July, global food companies have been on high alert for retaliatory tariffs from China.


The 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.


Spain, however, called for negotiations to avoid tariffs on its pork exports to China.


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.


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.


The commerce ministry said that the investigation should be completed by June 17, 2025, but could be extended by another six months if required.

China’s May industrial output lags expectations

China’s May industrial output lagged expectations and a slowdown in the property sector showed no signs of easing, adding pressure on Beijing to shore up growth, though retail sales beat forecasts thanks to a holiday boost.


May industrial output grew 5.6 per cent from a year earlier, National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) data showed, slowing from the 6.7 per cent pace in April and below expectations for a 6.0 per cent increase in a Reuters poll of analysts.  


However, retail sales, a gauge of consumption, in May rose 3.7 per cent on year, accelerating from a 2.3 per cent rise in April and marking the quickest growth since February.                       


– Reuters 

China, S Korea to hold first security talks since 2015

China and South Korea will hold their first high-level security talks in about nine years, with their discussio­ns in Seoul expected to coincide with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s first trip to North Korea since 2000.


The talks among vice-ministers in foreign affairs and lower-level defence officials will be held on Tuesday, South Korea’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement. “The two countries will exchange views on bilateral relations, the Korean Peninsula issues and other topics of interest.”  


The meeting follows talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol last month on the sidelines of a rare trilateral summit also involving Japan. 

– Bloomberg

First Published: Jun 18 2024 | 12:22 AM IST


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