(Updating with more details throughout)
BEIJING, Aug 18 (Reuters) - China on Friday launched an anti-dumping investigation into imports of Brazilian broiler chicken and products after a complaint from the domestic industry that the South American country has been selling its chicken below market value.
Brazil accounted for more than 50 pct of broiler product supplies to China between 2013 and 2016, a Commerce Ministry statement said on Friday, according to a preliminary review by the local industry and the ministry.
China, the world's No. 2 poultry consumer, relies on imports for its supply of white feather broiler chickens, which are favored by fast-food chains like KFC and McDonalds for their more rapid development and plumper meat, compared with yellow-feathered birds, which are native to China and generally sold retail.
The country also has anti-dumping duties on U.S. broiler chicken products.
Any move to penalize imports would be a further blow to Brazil's meat industry following a scandal over its beef exports earlier in the year, which threatened to tarnish the country's powerhouse protein industry.
China is the biggest national consumer of Brazilian meat.
The move also comes just months after Beijing slapped hefty penalties on sugar imports from top growers such as Brazil and Thailand after lobbying by domestic mills. (Reporting by Josephine Mason; Editing by Richard Pullin)