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Rhine's Low Level Seen Threatening European Fuel Price Spike

  • Barges restricted in delivering cargoes of industrial goods
  • Level at lowest in at least 12 years at key spot on waterway
The Rhine river in Cologne, Germany, on Oct. 21, 2018.

The Rhine river in Cologne, Germany, on Oct. 21, 2018.

Photographer: Patrik Stollarz/AFP via Getty Images

Updated on

Historically low water levels on the Rhine River are set to limit cargo flows even further, potentially boosting European heating oil prices at a critical time of year, according to JBC Energy.

“Further shipping restrictions are expected on inland barge routes along the Rhine corridor,” as the water subsides, the Vienna-based researcher said in a note to clients on Monday. Heating oil prices in Northwest Europe “will be vulnerable to spikes over the next couple of months” as deliveries are delayed to inland markets.