UPDATE 2-China June meat imports fall 17% on weak domestic prices

(Updates with chart, detail on 1H imports)

SHANGHAI, July 13 (Reuters) - China imported 743,000 tonnes of meat in June, down 17% from the same month a year earlier, customs data showed on Tuesday, as weak domestic pork prices hit demand for imports.

June meat imports were also down 5.8% from 789,000 tonnes in May. Meat imports in the first half of the year, however, totalled 5.08 million tonnes, the data from China’s General Administration of Customs showed, higher than last year’s 4.75 million tonnes in the first six months of 2020.

Domestic pork prices PORK-CN-TOT-D have plunged by half since the start of this year, weighed by large import volumes and as production increased on efforts to restock and expand farms after African swine fever decimated herds.

Prices were at 21.94 yuan ($3.39) per kg last week.

Reporting by Emily Chow; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Tom Hogue