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EU direct reduced iron imports spike, Russia leads in supply

In January 2024, the European Union experienced a notable surge in imports of direct reduced iron (DRI), marking a 68.4% increase compared to the same period in 2023, totaling 358.86 thousand tons, according to data from Eurostat.

Compared to December 2023, DRI imports by European consumers rose by 69% in January 2024.

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Among EU countries, Italy, Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands emerged as the primary importers of direct reduced iron:

Italy imported 141.26 thousand tons (+5.9% y/y). Germany imported 62.67 thousand tons (+44.1% y/y). Belgium imported 50.66 thousand tons (+5.9% y/y). Netherlands imported 74.34 thousand tons (2.2 thousand tons in January 2023). Russia stands out as the leading supplier of DRI to the EU, with Russian companies shipping 187.45 thousand tons of direct reduced iron in January, marking a 67.7% increase year-on-year and a 46.9% increase month-on-month.

Italy remains the primary importer of Russian DRI products, importing 126.04 thousand tons, reflecting an 181.3% increase year-on-year. Belgium follows closely behind with 50.66 thousand tons (+5.9% y/y).

During the same period, Libya shipped 21.45 thousand tons of DRI to the EU, marking a 45.2% increase year-on-year and an impressive 635% increase month-on-month. Meanwhile, Venezuela exported 29.998 thousand tons of the product to the EU, showing a decrease of 28.1% year-on-year but a significant 493% increase month-on-month.

As reported by GMK Center, the EU reduced its imports of direct reduced iron (DRI) by 11% in 2023 compared to 2022, amounting to 2.61 million tons. In December 2023, DRI supplies to European consumers increased by 19.9% compared to the previous month and by 146.5% compared to December 2022, totaling 213.12 thousand tons. Russia remains the largest supplier of DRI to the EU, despite a 21.3% year-on-year decrease.

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