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Low water hinders Rhine shipping in Germany but levels rising

[HAMBURG] Shallow water on the Rhine in Germany means freight vessels still cannot sail fully loaded, although the river is rising again after rain this week, traders said on Friday.

The Rhine is still too shallow for normal sailings south of Duisburg and Cologne to Kaub in the central German section of the river, traders said.

But rain in river catchment areas in south Germany has raised southern sections of the Rhine and the German section of the Danube to levels allowing normal sailings, they said.

The Rhine and Danube have been shallow for full loadings since the first week of April.

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

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.


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