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Low water levels hamper Rhine and Danube river shipping in Germany

A picture taken on July 11, 2018 shows the dried up river banks of the Rhine river in Duesseldorf.

[HAMBURG] Water levels on the Rhine and Danube in Germany have fallen after recent dry weather and cargo vessels cannot sail fully loaded on some sections of the rivers, traders said on Friday.

The Rhine is too shallow for normal sailings from Duisburg and Cologne to south Germany, traders said. All of the German section of the Danube is too shallow for full loads, they said.

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

The Rhine is an important shipping route for commodities such as 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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