17 August 2012 11:47 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Transport barges on the river Rhine in Germany have been forced to reduce their loads along certain stretches because of low water levels, caused by recent warm weather and a lack of rain, sources in the methanol market said on Friday.
The critical point along the river is the town of Kaub, downstream of which water levels are low and barges are carrying reduced volumes.
Details of the specific impact on load sizes varied between sources. One supplier estimated that barges normally carrying 2,000 tonnes have reduced their loads to around 800 tonnes. A buyer said 1,500 tonne capacity vessels were now take 1,000 tonnes.
The buyer said the impact on operations was not yet critical, and that its methanol requirements were being met simply via more frequent deliveries.
Another impact has been increased freight rates, the buyer said.
“At the moment the impact is not severe, but if [the water levels] fall further, it could become a problem,” the buyer said, adding that the weather forecast for the coming week is for more warm weather and no rain.
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