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DRI pellets

The main volume of products was shipped from Russia and Libya – 1.19 million tons and 407.9 thousand tons, respectively

In 2023, the European Union reduced imports of direct reduced iron (DRI) by 11% compared to 2022, to 2.61 million tons. This is evidenced by Eurostat data.

In December 2023, the volume of DRI supplies to European consumers increased by 19.9% compared to the previous month, and by 146.5% – to 213.12 thousand tons by December 2022.

The main importers of direct reduced iron among the EU countries in 2023 were Italy, Germany, Belgium, Spain and Austria, among others:

  • Italy – 864.61 thousand tons (-8% y/y);
  • Germany – 659.46 thousand tons (-3.7% y/y);
  • Belgium – 258.24 thousand tons (-0.7% y/y);
  • Spain – 251.78 thousand tons (+13.8% y/y);
  • Austria – 174.53 thousand tons (-18.7% y/y).

Russia is the largest supplier of DRI to the European Union. In 2023, Russian enterprises shipped 1.19 million tons of direct reduced iron to European consumers, down 21.3% compared to 2022. In December, the EU imported 127.6 thousand tons of the relevant products from the Russian Federation (+329.5% y/y; +105.9% m/m).

The main importer of Russian products is Italy – 705.9 thousand tons, which is 14.5% less y/y. Belgium ranks second with 205.6 thousand tons (-17.6% y/y).

Last year, Libya shipped 407.9 thousand tons of DRI to the EU, up 69.9% y/y. In December, European steelmakers imported 2.91 kt of direct reduced iron from Libya (-72.1% y/y, -85.2% m/m).

As GMK Center reported, at the end of 2023, the European Union adopted the 12th package of sanctions against Russia. The new package extends the ban on imports of steel products from Russia, including pig iron and mirror pig iron, direct reduced iron (DRI), copper and aluminum wire, foil, and aluminum pipes. The restrictions will ban imports of pig iron and DRI from January 1, 2026, and until then, quotas will be in place to reduce the volume of supplies.