Depleted Rhine water level in Germany holds above crisis lows

Water depths on the river Rhine in Germany have fallen after dry weather this week but remain well above the crisis lows of this summer, vessel brokers and commodity traders said on Friday..

Depleted Rhine water level, Germany

HAMBURG, Sept 23 (Reuters) - Water depths on the river Rhine in Germany have fallen after dry weather this week but remain well above the crisis lows of this summer, vessel brokers and commodity traders said on Friday.

Weeks of high temperatures and scant rainfall in August had reduced the commercial arterys water levels, causing delays to shipping and pushing up freight costs. There were fears disruption could even hit overall German economic growth. read more

The reference water level at the chokepoint of Kaub near Koblenz was at 1.13 metres on Friday, down from 1.39 metres on Monday. But that is a huge improvement from only 32 centimetres in August, which caused significant shipping disruption.

Shallow water after this summer’s heatwave and drought compelled some freight vessels to sail about 25% full in August, increasing costs for cargo owners who needed more ships to deliver their goods. read more

Spot prices for a liquid tanker barge from Rotterdam to Karlsruhe south of Kaub were about 68 euros a tonne on Friday, down from about 69 euros a tonne late last week. Prices hit peaks of about 118 a tonne in August, against roughly 20 euros a tonne in June before water levels fell, brokers said.

Finland said on Thursday it was considering barring most Russians from entering the country as traffic across the border from its eastern neighbour "intensified" following President Vladimir Putins order for a partial military mobilisation.

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