BEIJING, CHINA – China announced on Nov. 19 that it is starting an anti-dumping investigation on imports of Australian barley.

A statement on the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture website said the one year-probe began Nov. 19 and could extend to May 19, 2020. It said Australian barley is being sold at “lower than normal” prices, causing China’s domestic market to suffer as a result of the cheap supply.

Last year China, which is the biggest buyer of Australian barley, purchased $1.28 billion worth of the commodity.

China is already in a trade dispute with the United States, having slapped a 25% tariff on all U.S. soybean imports in July.

There is speculation that the barley anti-dumping probe is tied more to political than economic issues as it comes just days after the U.S. agreed to partner with Australia to redevelop Papua New Guinea’s naval base at Manus Island, Australia.