China’s Ministry of Commerce has decided to launch an anti-dumping investigation into imports of brandy from the European Union, in a decision that fuels trade tensions between Beijing and Brussels.

The news of the opening of this investigation weighed on the listing on the Paris Stock Exchange of the French distilleries Remy Cointreau, whose shares fell by more than 9%, and Pernod Ricard, which lost more than 5%.

The launch of the process by the Chinese authorities responds to the request for an anti-dumping investigation formally presented by the China Liquor Industry Association on November 30, 2023.

As indicated by the Chinese Ministry, the period investigated for dumping runs from October 1, 2022 to September 30, 2023, while the investigations into industrial damage cover from January 1, 2019 to September 30, 2023.

The opening of this investigation reflects the trade tensions between Beijing and Brussels, portrayed at the end of last November by the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, who warned that “European leaders will not tolerate a continued imbalance” in its trade relations with China, ensuring that the Twenty-seven have “tools to protect the market.”

In this sense, last October the European Commission formally initiated an investigation against China for the illegal aid it grants to the production of electric vehicles, while in December 2023 it announced the start of an anti-dumping investigation on imports of biodiesel from China.