PARIS - Euronext wheat set new contract lows on Monday before steadying as a pre-weekend slide in U.S. grain futures weighed on the market, while traders awaited direction from a tender to be held by major importer Algeria.

March milling wheat on Paris-based Euronext settled 0.4% up at 216.75 euros ($237.34) a metric ton.

It earlier edged down to a latest life-of-contract low at 215.00 euros, also a five-week low for a front-month price , but again found chart support around 215-216 euros.

Volumes were moderate as a U.S. holiday closure removed the usual impetus from the European session.

Chicago wheat fell on Friday, dragged down by corn and soybeans after the U.S. Department of Agriculture projected larger U.S. supplies than expected.

The USDA's world crop report included an upward revision to European Union wheat imports and a cut to expected EU wheat exports, highlighting Black Sea competition that has weighed on prices this season.

The tender called by Algeria for Tuesday will provide an indication of the competitiveness of Western European supplies following price recent falls.

"The west EU and Black Sea will be in a tough head-to-head competition to win the Algerian business," one German trader said.

"The trouble is that Russian and other Black Sea wheat still holds a price lead and Russian export prices have fallen again."

A tender held by Egypt last week showed large volumes of Russian wheat are still available.

In France, port data compiled by LSEG has shown an upturn in loadings since last month.

In Germany, 12% protein wheat for January delivery in Hamburg was offered for sale at a premium of about 7 euros over the Euronext March contract, with buying interest around 5 euros over.

Temperatures in Germany have risen again after deep frosts last week, and weather this week is generally viewed as non-threatening to crops, traders said.

In France, cold weather is forecast to continue this week, but concern remains focused on soggy conditions in some grain belts that have reduced winter cereal planting.

($1 = 0.9132 euros)

(Reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Michael Hogan in Hamburg; Editing by Paul Simao)