Low water still hinders Rhine river shipping in Germany

HAMBURG (Reuters) - Low water after dry weather in past weeks continues to prevent cargo vessels from sailing fully loaded on the river Rhine in Germany, traders said on Monday.

Low water is hampering shipping in the northern and central sections of the river, especially around Cologne and Kaub, traders said. But recent rain has returned some southern sections to normal levels.

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 Louise Heavens