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Algeria starts buying wheat in tender, traders say

Algeria’s state grains agency OAIC has started purchasing milling wheat in an international tender on Thursday, European traders said in early assessments.

The tender was held on an optional-origin basis but reported prices suggested Russian wheat was likely to be supplied, traders said.

Some cited a range of $369-$372 a tonne, cost and freight (c&f) included, for prices paid by OAIC while others reported a higher range at $373-$375 a tonne c&f.

The volume initially bought was unclear but was thought to be relatively small, traders added.

More detailed assessments are expected later.

Algeria, one of the world’s largest wheat importers, does not release results of its tenders and results are based on estimates by traders.

The wheat is sought for shipment in two periods from the main supply regions including Europe: Nov. 1-15 and Nov. 16-30.

If sourced from South America or Australia, shipment is one month earlier.

Algeria is usually the largest export market for European Union wheat, with France the main EU supplier.

Russian wheat had been expected to provide competition in the latest tender due to attractive prices for what is expected to be a record Russian harvest.

However, heightened tensions this week surrounding Moscow’s seven-month-old war with Ukraine have revived uncertainty about Black Sea grain trade.

News on Thursday that sanctions-hit VTB Bank VTBR.MM has urged President Vladimir Putin to curb the activities of Western grain traders in Russia, in a letter seen by Reuters, added to caution about sourcing supplies from Russia, traders added.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Michael Hogan in Hamburg and Gus Trompiz in Paris; Editing by Chris Reese)

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