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Rhine water in Germany ticks up after rain, not enough to relieve shipping

HAMBURG, Aug 1 (Reuters) - Some water levels on the Rhine in Germany have risen marginally after rain but not enough to provide significant relief to ships which are still unable to sail fully loaded, navigation authorities said on Monday.

Shallow water continues to hinder shipping on the entire river in Germany. Freight shipping on the river continues but with vessels often carrying greatly reduced loads, said German inland waterways navigation agency WSA.

Water had risen slightly in some northern areas including Cologne and Duisburg, but have dropped again at the chokepoint of Kaub near Koblenz.

During low water authorities do not close the river, it is up to vessel owners to decide if they can operate safely. Loads are being spread between more vessels, increasing costs for cargo owners.

The Rhine is an important shipping route for commodities including grains, chemicals, minerals, coal and oil products including heating oil.

German companies faced supply bottlenecks and production problems in 2018 after a drought and heat-wave led to unusually low water levels on the Rhine. (Reporting by Michael Hogan, Editing by Louise Heavens)

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