China launches probe into EU brandy imports

©  Gisele Tellier/Getty Images

The anti-dumping investigation follows Brussels’ own probe into a “flood” of cheap Chinese electric vehicles © Gisele Tellier/Getty Images

China has begun an anti-dumping investigation into the import of competitively priced brandy from the European Union, the country’s commerce ministry announced on Friday.

The probe follows a complaint submitted by the country’s domestic brandy industry, the ministry’s announcement said. Dumping occurs when producers export their product to another country at a price below fair market value, harming local manufacturers.

According to Bloomberg, Chinese authorities are targeting French cognac, specifically producers like Pernod Ricard and Remy Cointreau.

The probe comes nearly four months after European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen complained about global markets being “flooded” with Chinese electric cars (EVs), which are cheaper and, she claimed, have prices kept artificially low by “huge” state subsidies. In October the EU opened an anti-subsidy probe into EV imports from China.

France was the main backer of Brussels’ investigation, with carmakers Renault and Stellantis particularly exposed to a threat coming from cheaper competitors, Bloomberg noted.

China imported $4.5 billion worth of alcoholic drinks in 2022 with French brandy being the most-imported spirit, according to the Financial Times, citing China-based market research group Daxue Consulting.

China’s commerce ministry said the timeframe for its probe into imported brandy is one year and that it may be extended by another six months.

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