PARIS/HAMBURG - Algeria’s state grains agency OAIC has purchased about 500,000 tonnes of milling wheat in an international tender that closed on Wednesday, European traders said on Thursday.
Initial unconfirmed trade estimates put the purchase at about 480,000 tonnes to 510,000 tonnes, with most estimates at about 500,000 tonnes.
First trader assessments put prices paid at about $227 to $228 a tonne c&f. One trader said a shipment was purchased at $228.50 a tonne c&f.
Traders said they believe that French and possibly Argentine wheat would be used to supply the tender.
Algeria does not disclose results of its tenders and purchase reports are based on trade assessments.
The tender called for wheat to be shipped in February 2020, except for South American supplies, which should be shipped in January.
In its last reported tender on Nov. 21, Algeria also bought about 500,000 tonnes, priced around $223-$224 a tonne c&f for January 2020 shipment or in December 2019 if sourced from South America.
Algeria announced in November that it would limit annual milling wheat imports to 4 million tonnes, down from 6 million tonnes, to help to preserve foreign currency reserves.
The move, which came as the authorities target corruption in the subsidised bread system against a backdrop of popular protests, created uncertainty in the international market about a loss of demand.
(Reporting by Gus Trompiz and Michael Hogan Editing by David Goodman ) ((email@example.com; +49 172 671 36 54; Reuters Messaging: firstname.lastname@example.org))