STORY: China has opened an anti-dumping probe into imported pork from the European Union.

The step comes less than a week after Brussels announced new curbs on electric vehicle exports from China.

That was due to growing alarm over Chinese industrial overcapacity flooding the EU with cheap products, including EVs.

China's commerce ministry said the investigation, which was announced and commenced on Monday (June 17) will focus on fresh, cold and frozen whole cuts of pork and pork by-products.

The ministry added that the probe was prompted by a complaint from the China Animal Husbandry Association on behalf of the domestic pork industry.

The European Commission announced on June 12 that it would impose tariffs of up to 38.1% on imported Chinese cars from July.

Global food companies have been on high alert for retaliatory action from China since then.

European Commission spokesperson Olof Gill:

"The answer is 'No, we're not the least bit worried' because not all subsidies are the same, and any subsidies that take place under the Common Agricultural Policy or indeed in any other policy area in the European Union are strictly in line with our WTO obligations and we put the strongest possible emphasis on ensuring that this is the case."

Spain is the top supplier of pork to China and its pork producers group Interporc said they would fully cooperate with China's investigation.

European pork producers should be able to keep exporting to China tariff-free while the investigation is underway.

Customs data showed that in 2023, the EU accounted for more than half the roughly $6 billion worth of pork China imported - around a quarter of which was from Spain.

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