DRI output worldwide rose to 4.23 million tonnes in February, compared with 3.87 million tonnes in February 2016, Worldsteel said on Wednesday March 22.

The most prolific DRI-producing nation in January was Iran, which made an estimated 1.20 million tonnes of the material, down marginally by 0.49% year-on-year.

Iran is expected to raise its DRI production this year because of plants being commissioned before the end of 2016, as part of eight long-running state-sponsored projects intended to boost the country’s steelmaking capacity.

India, the second-biggest producer, saw its February production rise by 14.49% year-on-year, to 1.15 million tonnes.

Prices for Indian domestic direct reduced iron (DRI) moved up week-on-week by Rs1,100-1,200 ($17-18) per tonne to Rs18,500-18,900 ($283-289) per tonne ex-works on March 17, their highest level since March 2015.

There were also year-on-year production increases in several other countries, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE.

US steelmaker Nucor’s direct reduced iron (DRI) plant in the south-eastern state of Louisiana has restarted production following an unplanned outage in February, the company said on March 16. DRI production in the USA is not monitored by Worldsteel.