Turkey’s Ministry of the Economy has launched an anti-dumping investigation against imports of US cotton, the National Cotton Council has said.

The NCC said the initiation of the probe by a government ministry, rather than by commercial businesses, was unusual, amid speculation that it was prompted by a similar US investigation into imports of steel rebar from Turkey.

Nonetheless, the NCC urged all companies impacted by the investigation to co-operate fully and complete detailed questionnaires within the requested deadline, while trade organisations were urged to register as “interested parties” to enable their voices to be heard.

Turkey is the largest international importer of US cotton, with trade last year estimated at 1.1m bales, worth a total of US$500m.

In order to secure the imposition of anti-dumping levies against US imports, the Turkish authorities would have to prove that dumping had taken place, and that it had adversely affected local producers.

Any duties would only be imposed at the conclusion of the investigation, although these could be backdated by up to 90 days if the situation was deemed to be critical.