China launches probe into Brazilian broiler chicken imports
China has launched an anti-dumping investigation into imports of Brazilian broiler chickens after a complaint from the domestic industry that the South American country has been selling its chicken below market value.
Brazil accounted for more than 50pc of broiler product supplies to China, the world's No. 2 poultry consumer, between 2013 and 2016, according to a preliminary review, the Commerce Ministry said in a statement.
Any move to penalize imports, which are worth more than $1 billion a year, would be a major blow to Brazil's meat industry following a food safety scandal that threatened to tarnish the country's powerhouse protein industry.
ABPA, a group representing Brazilian chicken producers and exporters, denied they sell products below market prices, association president Francisco Turra told Reuters on Friday.
"We are very competitive and it is hard for the Chinese producer to understand," Turra said, reflecting on the surge of imports since the Chinese market opened to Brazilian poultry in 2009. "Such complaints are normal and we can defend ourselves."
Brazil faced similar claims from South Africa and Ukraine and won the cases, he said. Brazilian government officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Shares of Brazil's BRF SA, the world's largest chicken exporter, fell 1pc on Friday as the benchmark Bovespa stock index gained 0.2pc.
A BRF representative declined to comment.