China is starting an anti-dumping investigation on imports of Australian barley, sending a signal the world’s top commodity buyer may be increasing scrutiny of one of its most important suppliers.
The one-year probe will start on Monday, and could be extended to May 19, 2020, according to a statement on the Ministry of Commerce’s website. Australian barley is being sold at “lower than normal” prices, and China’s domestic industry has suffered as a result of the cheap supply, it said.
China is Australia’s biggest buyer of barley, purchasing about $1.28 billion worth of the commodity last year. While iron ore, coal and wool are more significant for Australia’s exports, the investigation into barley is a sign China is willing to strain a traditionally strong trading relationship amid sharpening political tensions with Australia and the trade war with the U.S.
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