Rhine water level rises, still too shallow in northern sections

HAMBURG (Reuters) – Water levels on the Rhine in Germany have risen sharply after recent rain but remain too shallow for cargo vessels to sail fully loaded in some northern sections of the river, traders said on Monday.

The river fell below normal levels in late April after dry weather.

Heavy rain last week has restored most of the river to normal levels. But the Rhine is still too shallow for normal sailings around Cologne, traders 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 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 Jason Neely

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