Algeria’s state grains agency OAIC purchased around 500,000 tonnes of milling wheat in an import tender which closed on Tuesday, European traders said on Wednesday.
The prices paid were thought to be between $218 and $218.50 a tonne, cost and freight (c&f) included, the traders said.
OAIC does not publish details of its grain tenders and results reported by traders are estimates.
Most traders put the volume purchased at between 480,000 tonnes and 500,000 tonnes, below some earlier estimates pegging the volume at about 600,000 tonnes.
The wheat was sought for shipment in two periods from the main supply countries, July 16-31 and Aug. 1-15. If sourced from South America, shipment is between June 16-30 and July 1-15.
The origin of the wheat is at the seller’s option but French wheat was seen as likely to be chosen for most of the volume.
“The prices look fairly aggressive. The French trade didn’t have much business in their books for the new crop, so it was an opportunity not to be missed,” one trader said.
Some cargoes could come from the Baltic region for the first half of the August shipment period depending on harvest progress, the trader added.
Algeria is a vital customer for wheat from the European Union, especially France which is the country’s biggest wheat supplier.
OAIC had rejected offers and made no purchase in a previous wheat tender a month ago.
That raised uncertainty about Algeria’s import policy for the upcoming 2020/21 season in the midst of a coronavirus epidemic that has hit energy prices on which the oil and gas producer relies for revenues.