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HAMBURG/PARIS: Algeria’s state grains agency OAIC has purchased optional-origin milling wheat in an international tender which closed on Wednesday, but the volume bought was unclear after prices rose suddenly following US Department of Agriculture (USDA) crop forecasts, European traders said in initial assessments.

Unconfirmed initial estimates of volumes bought were around 100,000 tonnes in several shipments. But there was market talk late on Wednesday evening that several hundred thousand tonnes were bought from around five sellers.

Some late evening trade estimates were between 400,000 to 550,000 tonnes.

More details were expected on Thursday.

Initial estimates of purchase price were around $279 a tonne c&f, traders said. More detailed assessments of prices are possible later.

Some of the purchase was expected to be sourced from France.

European wheat rose sharply in late trading on Wednesday as lower-than-expected official forecasts of US corn and soybean planting sent Chicago grain futures soaring.

The sudden price rises in Europe and the United States occurred in the final stages of price negotiations in the Algerian tender.

The wheat was sought for shipment in two periods from the main supply regions including Europe: May 1-15 and May 16-31. If sourced from South America, shipment is between April 1-15 and April 16-30.

Algeria does not release results of its tenders and reports are based on trade estimates. In its previous wheat tender reported on March 10, the OAIC purchased between 450,000 and 510,000 tonnes at around $323 a tonne c&f.

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