Approximately 62Mt of DRI in the form of pellet, lump and HBI was produced in 2009, according to Midrex Technologies, Inc.

Despite harsh economic conditions that crippled most financial sectors, world DRI production only decreased about 9% from the previous year’s record production of 68Mt.

In the early part of the year many plants were idled or running at minimal capacities, but production began to ramp up in the H2 and in particular the Q4 of the year.

The 2009 trends still show that DRI usage is gaining popularity despite reduced world steel production and consumption. The 9% decrease in DRI production can be compared to Blast Furnace production (outside of China), which dropped by 22% in 2009 from the previous year.

While overall total production of DRI decreased, India and Iran did grow in this period. Growth was due in part to the ramping up of production of new shaft furnace plants in Iran and rotary kilns in India.

Once again, India led all nations, making 22Mt with Iran in second place, producing more than 8Mt. Venezuela, which had long been the leading producer produced between 5 and 6Mt based on initial data and substantial drop from the nearly 7M produced in 2008.

Midrex collected data from about four-fifths of the world’s combined DRindustry. The figures stated are from this data. The Midrex estimate is based upon information available from the World Steel Association and various other sources