Content ID


Shipping prices drop as parts of Rhine return to normal depths

HAMBURG, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Water levels on the Rhine in Germany have risen sharply after rain this week, returning to normal levels of parts of the river and pushing down cargo shipping prices, vessel brokers and commodity traders said on Friday.

Weeks of high temperatures and little rainfall in August had drained water levels on Germany's commercial artery, causing delays to shipping and pushing up freight costs. There were fears the disruption could hit overall German economic growth.

The Rhine is an important shipping route for commodities including grains, mineral ores, coal and oil products. However, low water depths meant some freight vessels sailed about 25% full in August, increasing costs for cargo owners who needed more ships to make their deliveries.

“With rain continuing I expect all of the river in Germany to return to normal levels, allowing vessels to sail fully loaded over the weekend,” one vessel broker said on Friday.

The reference water level at the major chokepoint of Kaub <WL-KAUB> near Koblenz was at 1.53 metres on Friday, above the 1.5 metres vessels need to sail fully loaded. It fell to only 32 centimetres in August, disrupting shipping.

The Rhine south of Kaub to Switzerland has returned to levels allowing full vessel loading, brokers said.

Parts of the river in north Germany, including around Cologne and Duisburg, are still too shallow for full vessel loads but are expected to reach normal levels over the weekend.

Spot prices for a liquid tanker barge from Rotterdam to Karlsruhe south of Kaub were about 51 euros a tonne on Friday, down from about 68 euros last week and peaks of about 118 euros in August, brokers said. (Reporting by Michael Hogan Editing by David Goodman)

© Copyright Thomson Reuters 2022. Click For Restrictions -

Read more about

Tip of the Day

Driver for electric fence posts is helpful

Fence post driver from Mar '20 AATF I welded a steel cap and handle onto one end of a section of light-duty 1¼-inch angle iron and a footstep onto the other end. This lets me... read more

Talk in Marketing

Most Recent Poll

Will you have enough on-farm storage for harvest?

I just want to see the responses
46% (24 votes)
37% (19 votes)
No, it’s going to be a bin-buster
8% (4 votes)
Maybe, depending on yields
6% (3 votes)
No, I am looking at new bins or temporary storage
4% (2 votes)
Total votes: 52
Thank you for voting.