HAMBURG - The lowest price offered in an international tender from Egypt's GASC to buy about 50,000 metric tons of raw sugar was believed to be $690 a ton CIF free out, traders said in initial assessments on Monday.

The lowest offer for about 50,000 metric tons of white refined sugar that was also sought was believed to be $780 a ton CIF free out, traders said.

Offers in the tender, which closed on Saturday, are still being considered and no purchase has yet been reported, they added.

The prices were the lowest submitted after a series of negotiations, the traders said. However, prices were still regarded as too high, with GASC’s target for raw sugar assessed at $655 a ton CIF free out and white sugar assessed at $755 a ton CIF free out.

The lowest offer for raw sugar was said to have been submitted by trading house Alvean and lowest price for the white sugar was said to be offered by Al Khaleej Sugar (AKS).

The refined white sugar should be for human consumption and supplied in 50kg packages.

Offers should be submitted for arrival Jan. 1-15 and/or Jan. 16-30 and/or Feb. 1-15. Payment is at sight (immediate) using funding from the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC).

Raw sugar futures hit 12-year highs in early November on fears that an El Nino weather pattern would curb production in India and Thailand, plus concern about logistical bottlenecks in top exporter Brazil, though prices have since pulled back from their peaks.

(Reporting by Michael Hogan in Hamburg and Sarah El Safty in Cairo Editing by David Goodman)