April 7, 2017 / 11:38 AM / 4 months ago

Low water hinders Rhine and Danube river shipping in Germany

HAMBURG (Reuters) - Low water levels on the Rhine and Danube in Germany mean freight vessels cannot sail fully loaded on the German sections of the two rivers, traders said on Friday.

The Rhine is too shallow for normal sailings south of Cologne to Switzerland, traders said.

Shallow water means vessel operators impose surcharges on freight rates, increasing costs for cargo owners.

Low water also hindered shipping on both rivers between late November 2016 and February this year.

The Rhine is an important shipping route for commodities including grains, minerals, coal and oil products including heating oil. The Danube is a major route for east European grain exports to west Europe.

Reporting by Michael Hogan; editing by Jason Neely

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