World DRI Production Exceeds 100M Tons

Midrex Publishes 2018 World Direct Reduction Statistics

Annual global direct reduced iron (DRI) production surpassed the lofty milestone of 100 million tons in 2018, riding the crest of double-digit growth for the second consecutive year. According to the data and information published in the 2018 edition of World Direct Reduction Statistics for 2018, which is compiled annually by Midrex Technologies, Inc. and audited by World Steel Dynamics, global DRI production reached 100.5 million tons last year.

DRI output was up more than 15% over 2017 performance. From 2016 to 2018, world DRI production has increased by 38%, which is the largest increase in any two-year period since 1985. The sustained growth through 2018 was driven primarily by strong demand for natural gas-based DRI – an environmentally friendly and low residual metallic that is needed to produce today’s premium steel products.

Combined, India and Iran were responsible for more than half of total world DRI production in 2018. The top five DRI-producing countries last year were:

Over 11 million tons of last year’s production was hot DRI (HDRI), which is fed directly to the EAF to reduce energy consumption and increase melt shop productivity. Hot briquetted iron (HBI), which is compacted DRI, accounted for 9 million tons of the 2018 total.

2018 World Direct Reduction Statistics is available for download here, as a resource for the global iron and steel industry.