China's steel output growth slowed in July and prices of steel products have continued to drop, according to data from the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). Crude steel production gained 4.2 percent year on year in July, but the rate was 11.3 percentage points lower than the growth recorded during the same period last year, the NDRC said in an online report. In July, the composite price index of China's domestic steel products averaged 112.03, down 3.84 points from the previous month and 22.07 points from a year earlier, according to the NDRC. In the first seven months, China produced 419.46 million tons of crude steel. The growth represented a retreat of 8.2 percentage points from the growth seen a year earlier. Profits of the steel and iron industry dropped 49.4 percent year on year to 66.4 billion yuan (10.5 billion U.S. dollars) in the first half of the year, the NDRC said.