January 23, 2018 / 8:21 AM / a year ago

South river Rhine in Germany closed to shipping as water rises

HAMBURG (Reuters) - The river Rhine in south Germany was closed to shipping on Tuesday after a sharp rise in water levels, a German inland navigation authority official said.

High water means vessels to not have enough space to sail under bridges and the river is closed to shipping around Maxau near Karlsruhe, preventing sailing to and from Switzerland, he said.

Northern and central sections of the river are operating normally.

Repeated rain and warm weather, which has melted snow, has raised water levels and more of the river could be closed to shipping if water levels continue to rise, he said.

The Rhine is an important shipping route for commodities including oil products such as heating oil, grains, animal feed and coal. It is an important route for Swiss commodity imports.

The river had also been closed due to high water in early January.

Reporting by Michael Hogan, editing by Louise Heavens

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