World DRI production reaches 119.2 Mt in 2021 Midrex Publishes World Direct Reduction Statistics

Global direct reduced iron (DRI) production in 2021 was 119.2 million tons (Mt), up by 13.7% from the revised 104.8 Mt produced in 2020, and up 10.2% from the previous record of 108.1 Mt in 2019. From 2016, worldwide DRI output has grown by almost 46.4 Mt, or nearly 64%.

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The top five DRI-producing countries in 2021 were:

  1. India: 39.11 Mt
  2. Iran: 31.85 Mt
  3. Russia: 7.89 Mt
  4. Saudi Arabia: 6.13 Mt
  5. Mexico: 5.83 Mt

The production of hot DRI (HDRI), which is fed directly to a nearby melt shop for energy savings and to improve productivity, was 13.8 Mt, a 21.2% increase compared to 2020, and made up 11.6% of the total in 2021. The production of hot briquetted iron (HBI) – a compacted form of DRI ideally suited for shipping and for use in the blast furnace – is estimated to have been 10.4 Mt, a 9.3% increase over 2020 and a 7.4% increase over 2019.

MIDREX Plants produced 70.85 Mt in 2021, a 12.3 increase compared to 2020. The production in 2021 was calculated from 41.68 Mt confirmed by MIDREX Plants located outside of Iran (a 17.5% increase over 2020) and 29.17 Mt estimated for MIDREX Plants in Iran. Over 9.7 Mt of HDRI were produced by MIDREX Plants worldwide, which were consumed in nearby steel shops to assist them in reducing their energy consumption per ton of steel produced and increasing their productivity.

MIDREX Technology continued to account for ~80% of worldwide production of DRI by shaft furnaces. MIDREX Plants have produced a cumulative total of approximately 1,250 Mt of all forms of DRI (CDRI, HDRI, and HBI) through the end of 2021.

Midrex Technologies, Inc. compiles and publishes World Direct Reduction Statistics annually requests inputs from every known direct reduction producer either directly or indirectly through partner organizations. Where plant information is not available directly or indirectly from producers, Midrex obtains the information from publicly available data.

World Steel Dynamics (WSD) audits the data collection and preparation processes used by Midrex to confirm that the methodology and accuracy of the data to be published is representative of the global direct reduction industry in a given year.