China is launching an investigation into whether potato starch imported from the EU is being dumped into China.
The Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) said in a statement yesterday that it would look into whether dumping existed and if so, the extent of such dumping.
If dumping is confirmed, the ministry will also investigate any damage to domestic industries.
The Chinese government could impose penalty duties on potato starch imports from the EU.
The investigation will cover imports in 2005.
The EU exported about 74,800 tons of potato starch to China last year, accounting for 99 percent of the country's total imports. Trade volume hit US$29.22 million last year.
Seven Chinese starch manufacturers from Heilongjiang, Qinghai, Gansu and Yunnan provinces and the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region filed petitions in December to MOFCOM.
They claimed that EU exporters were selling potato starch to China below cost.
Potato starch is widely used in a number of industries such as food processing, pharmaceuticals and textiles.
Investigations into alleged dumping usually take one year to complete but can be extended for another year under special circumstances.
(China Daily February 7, 2006)