June 8, 2020 / 8:22 AM / a month ago

Rhine water level rises but still too for normal shipping

HAMBURG (Reuters) - Water levels on the Rhine in Germany have risen after rain in the past week but are still too shallow for cargo vessels to sail fully loaded on northern sections of the river, traders said on Monday.

The river had fallen below normal levels in late May after dry weather.

Heavy rain in the past week has raised water levels and southern sections have returned to normal. But the Rhine is still too shallow for normal sailings in northern sections between Kaub, Cologne and Duisburg, traders said.

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

More rain is forecast this week which could bring improvements.

The Rhine is an important shipping route for commodities including grains, minerals, coal and oil products including heating oil. German companies faced supply bottlenecks and production problems in 2018 after a drought and heatwave led to unusually low water levels on the Rhine.

Reporting by Michael Hogan, editing by Louise Heavens

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