Parts of the river Rhine in south Germany were closed to cargo shipping again on Tuesday after recent rain in south Germany increased water levels, authorities said.

Rhine levels are too high to allow river shipping around Maxau in south Germany, the German inland waterways navigation agency said.

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

Shipping on northern sections of the river is operating normally including the important points of Duisburg, Cologne and Mannheim. High water stopped sailings on the Rhine around Maxau for much of last week.

Water levels at Maxau are expected to fall to levels permitting sailings on Tuesday night or early Wednesday, according to the high water forecast centre in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg.

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 Jason Neely)