Rhine closed for barge traffic until next week after devastating flooding

16 Jul 2021

Quantum Commodity Intelligence - The Rhine is likely to re-open for traffic by the middle of next week, sources told Quantum Friday, after the banks burst Thursday causing devastating flash floods and at least 58 deaths in southern Germany,

High water levels have created “Marke II” levels along the river, which means sailing along the river has been stopped.

Rhine depth levels at Cologne in Germany were pegged at 7.6 metres Friday and will remain around the same levels in three days’ time, according to Riverlake’s amalgamation of three agency forecasts.

But further up the Rhine in Maxau, depth levels are expected to subside slightly from 8.4 metres Friday to 8 metres on Monday.

Barge traffic in the ARA trading hub has not been impacted, according to the brokers Riverlake.

“Most ARA owners have covered the majority of their fleet over the weekend, although several prompt loading barges can still be found,” the brokers added.

“Freights hold for the time being.”

Cross harbour barge freights in ARA were pegged at €0.90/mt for a middle distillate barge that can carry 2,500 mt.

Differential prices for diesel, gasoil and 50ppm barge prices versus August Low Sulfur Gasoil futures were little changed Thursday amid low liquidity, Quantum data shows.

Quantum assessed ULSD FOB ARA diesel spot barges at $595.75/mt on Friday, down $4/mt on the day to reflect a fall in futures.