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PARIS: Euronext wheat was little changed on Friday, consolidating after a volatile week in futures, while physical markets stayed firm as an Algerian tender purchase added to strong international demand. Front-month December milling wheat on Euronext settled 0.50 euro, or 0.2%, higher at 210.00 euros ($248.33) a tonne.

March futures, now the most active position on Euronext, settled up 0.25 euro at 209.75 euros, consolidating after a life-of-contract high at 212.75 euros on Wednesday. Chicago grain futures rallied this week after the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) reduced its forecasts for US and world supply of corn and soybeans, but US wheat later lost ground.

"Futures markets have lost a little steam, perhaps because there is quite a lot of Australian crop coming, but physical markets are struggling to do likewise," a French trader said. Algeria was thought to have bought about 600,000 tonnes of wheat in an import tender on Thursday, with European Union origins again expected to dominate, traders said.

French wheat was expected to be chosen for the bulk of the optional-origin purchase, with Germany and Poland also seen likely to claim some of the volume. Russian wheat was again seen as too expensive and still hampered by Algerian tender specifications, despite a recent move by Algeria to remove a longstanding barrier to Black Sea supplies.

In Germany, there were also hopes of further sales to Pakistan and Iran after recent shipments to those countries.

"There have been recent inquires in Germany about wheat needed for export to Iran," a German trader said. "I am hopeful we could see some new ship loadings in Germany for Iran soon."