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Global DRI production surged in February

Ferrous metallurgy

By far, the world's largest producer of DRI was India

Global DRI production surged in February

Global direct reduced iron (DRI) production rose in February from a year earlier, according to data from the World Steel Association.

February Worldsteel data shows DRI production at 8.6 million tonnes , down 11.2% from the previous month but up 7.6% from the same period last year. By far the largest producer among the 13 countries was India, where DRI production rose 17.9% year-on-year to 4.2 million tonnes.

Global DRI production has grown rapidly in recent years as Efforts to decarbonize the steel industry have intensified. worldsteel data shows annual direct reduction production in 2023 will be 136.4 million tonnes, up 65.3% from 2014 levels. The International Energy Association's Sustainable Development Scenario projects DRI production at 411 million tonnes by 2050.

Demand for DRI is driven in part by the goal of reducing CO2 emissions from the steel industry by 80-95% by 2050. More and more companies around the world are taking action to reduce carbon emissions and implementing direct emission reduction projects.

The current consensus, based on industry and science, is that DRI in steelmaking is electric arc furnaces (EAFs) can make a big difference to carbon-neutral production. There is also a growing trend to use hydrogen as a reducing agent in the direct reduction process.

There is concern within the industry about the quality of iron ore supplies. According to a report from the Iron and Metals Association, ore used for direct reduction EAF production requires an iron content of at least 66%. It takes 1.45 tonnes of iron ore to produce one tonne of DRI.

By comparison, global steel production in February was 148.8 million tonnes, up 3.7% year-on-year.


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