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HAMBURG/PARIS: Algerian state grains agency OAIC has bought milling wheat in an international tender which closed on Wednesday with about 500,000 tonnes to 600,000 tonnes believed to have been purchased, European traders said in initial assessments.

The precise tonnage bought was unclear. But initial trader talk was of at least 500,000 tonnes with some estimates of up to 700,000 tonnes.

The wheat bought is optional origin. But traders said they believed much of the purchase was likely to be sourced from Russia, Romania and Bulgaria. French wheat could also supply a part of the deal, but German and Baltic States wheat was not expected to be used to supply the purchase.

Initial purchases reported were around $276 to $276.50 a tonne cost and freight (c&f) included, they said. There was market talk of trades below this level at $273.50 a tonne c&f.

More detailed assessments of prices and tonnage bought are expected later.

The wheat was sought for shipment in two periods from the main supply regions including Europe: July 1-15 and July 16-31. If sourced from South America or Australia, shipment is one month earlier.

Algeria does not release results of its tenders and reports are based on trade estimates. Algeria is a vital customer for EU wheat, especially from France.

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