PARIS- Algeria has decided to change the terms of its wheat import tender in order to allow Black Sea origins like Russian wheat to be offered, a French exporters group said on Wednesday.
"We are expecting a change to Algeria's terms for the next wheat tender that should open up this destination to Black Sea origins," Thierry de Boussac, a trader and representative of French grain exporters group Synacomex told reporters.
"This has been approved by the Algerian government but I don't know the details," he added during a news conference organised by farm office FranceAgriMer.
While details of the changes have not been published, they are expected to see the limit on bug damage increased from 0.1% to 0.5% for certain origins, along with a higher protein requirement, he said.
Algeria's grains agency OAIC, which runs the country's wheat import tenders, could not immediately be reached for comment.
Moscow has been lobbying for access to Algeria's market, one of the few major importers where Russian wheat is not shipped.
While Russian wheat is not banned in Algeria, a strict insect damage limit has effectively ruled it out.
France is Algeria's main wheat supplier, although a much smaller harvest this year is expected to sharply reduce French sales to the North African country.
France was expected to ship between 1.5-2.5 million tonnes of wheat to Algeria this season, down from at least 5 million tonnes in previous years, de Boussac said.
(Reporting by Gus Trompiz and Sybille de La Hamaide; Additional reporting by Hamid Ould Ahmed in Algiers; Editing by Alexander Smith) ((firstname.lastname@example.org; +33 1 49 49 52 18; Reuters Messaging: email@example.com))