HAMBURG/PARIS- Algeria’s state grains agency OAIC is believed to have purchased at least 300,000 tonnes of optional-origin milling wheat in an international tender that closed on Wednesday, European traders said on Thursday.

Some estimates of the purchase went as high as 500,000 tonnes. Traders said they believed the tender had finished.

Negotiations on Thursday were made more difficult because Egypt’s state buyer GASC is also in negotiations about a snap purchase tender on Thursday. 

Estimates on Thursday for purchase prices in Algeria’s tender were around $346.50 to $345.50 a tonne c&f, traders said. More detailed assessments of prices and tonnage bought could arrive later in the day.

The Black Sea region is expected to be among the sources.

Traders said they believed that French wheat had been accepted as a possible source in the tender after Algeria turned away from French supplies recently after political tension between the two countries.

The wheat is sought for shipment April 1-15 and April 16-30 from the main supply regions including Europe. If sourced from South America or Australia, shipment is one month earlier.

(Reporting by Michael Hogan in Hamburg and Gus Trompiz in Paris Editing by David Goodman ) ((; +49 172 671 36 54; Reuters Messaging: