HAMBURG, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Low water levels after recent dry weather are preventing cargo vessels from sailing fully loaded on southern sections of the Rhine river in Germany and adding surcharges to the usual freight rates, traders said on Monday.
Low water is hampering shipping on the river south of Kaub including Maxau, traders said. Northern sections of the river, including around Cologne and Duisburg, were still deep enough for normal shipping, traders said.
Rain forecast in south Germany this week could bring improvements, they said.
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.
(Reporting by Michael Hogan, Editing by Louise Heavens)
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