China's Ministry of Commerce will launch an investigation into Indian imports of tert-butylhydroquinone (TBHQ), a preservative that is widely used in the food industry.
According to Xinhua, the state news agency, the ministry said that it had received requests from domestic TBHQ producers, who accused Indian manufacturers of dumping the product on the Chinese market and called for an inquiry.
The ministry has said that it would investigate whether Indian firms have sold the preservative at an artificially low price in China, which may have brought adverse consequences for local businesses.
The investigation is expected to take at least a year and may be extended to February 2015, according to Xinhua.
When contacted, the Indian Directorate General of Foreign Trade was not forthcoming with any intimation it may have received from Chinese authorities and declined to comment on the matter.
TBHQ is an aromatic organic compound widely used in the food industry as anti-oxidation for vegetable oil, edible animal fats, roasted foods, fried foods and meat products. It is also used in insecticide, dyes and pharmaceuticals.
It is a time of increasing trade and border tensions between the two Asian economies—China also started another anti-dumping probe on Indian imports earlier this month.
On August 14, the same ministry also launched an anti-dumping probe against the single-mode optical fibre imports from India in response to a petition filed by the domestic industry.
India, for its part, had imposed a ban on Chinese milk and its products in September 2008 due to the melamine scandal. The ban has been extended every year and was renewed again in June this year.