China will launch an anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigation into imports of sorghum grown in the United States, the Ministry of Commerce said on Sunday, in a sign of increasing trade tensions between the world's top two economies.
The grain is largely used to feed China's huge livestock sector, especially when other grains like corn are more expensive.
But preliminary evidence and information obtained by the commerce ministry found that imported sorghum from the US had been exported at a lower than normal value, it said, damaging local producers.
The ministry said it had initiated the investigation on its own because the local sector included a large number of small growers who were unable to prepare the necessary documentation.
The investigation of dumping was carried out for the period from November 1, 2016 until October 31, 2017.
Investigation of industrial injury was from January 1, 2013 until October 31, 2017.
The investigation should be complete by February 4, 2019, it said, but can be extended until August 4, 2019.
The trade action comes a year after Beijing slapped hefty anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on imports of distillers dried grains (DDGS) from the US, another product used as a feed ingredient, although it recently reduced VAT on DDGS imports.