Rhine water level hits lowest mark on record, still decreasing

Author: Niall Swan

2018/10/18

LONDON (ICIS)--Water levels on the river Rhine have hit the lowest mark on record and are likely to continue retracting, according to spokesperson for the Rhine Shipping Authority (WSA) on Thursday.

At 9:30pm on Wednesday, the water level at key gauging station Kaub dropped below 35cm, the previous lowest point set in September 2003, according to WSA's Florian Krekel.

As of 7:00am on Thursday, the water level is at 32cm and is likely to continue decreasing, Krekel added.

On Wednesday, BASF said it has had to adjust production levels at its Ludwigshafen, Germany site as the complex can only be reached by a few ships.

Low Rhine water levels are having an impact across northwest Europe (NWE), not only on production, but on logistics, as firms turn to trucks to transport their chemicals, which is proving difficult due to a lack of truck drivers.

The map shows the large number of manufacturing hubs along the Rhine in Germany and The Netherlands

Pictured: The River Rhine's dried out riverbed in Bonn on Thursday
Source: Sascha Steinbach/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

Additional reporting by Katherine Sale (map)