The river Rhine in south Germany reopened to cargo shipping on Wednesday after being closed by high water on Tuesday, navigation authorities said.

Falling water levels after dryer weather means water has fallen to levels allowing Rhine river shipping to restart around Maxau in south Germany, the German inland waterways navigation agency said.

Shipping on northern sections of the river had been operating normally this week including the important points of Duisburg, Cologne and Duesseldorf.

High water means vessels do not have enough space to sail under bridges and the blockage prevented vessels sailing to Switzerland.

The Rhine is an important shipping route for commodities including minerals, coal and oil products such as heating oil, grains and animal feed.

The Rhine has repeatedly suffered from low water levels because of unusually dry summers in recent years. (Reporting by Michael Hogan, editing by Andrew Heavens)