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Algeria picks SGS for grain import inspections

PARIS Oct 18 Algeria's state grains agency OAIC has chosen SGS to handle inspections of import cargoes under a planned two-year agreement, the Swiss-based company said on Tuesday.

Algeria is one of the world's largest grain importers and its purchases are mostly done by OAIC. The agency has for more than a decade worked with privately-owned Control Union, another international cargo inspection firm.

"OAIC has provisionally awarded this contract to us," a SGS spokesman said by email.

"The contract is for two years and covers 7 to 9 million tonnes per year."

The agreement was still to be finalised, he added, without giving further details.

Wheat accounts for the bulk of Algeria's cereal imports and most of its wheat usually comes from France. However, a poor French harvest this year is expected to lead Algeria to take wheat from a wider range of origins this season. (Reporting by Valerie Parent Writing by Gus Trompiz; Editing by Mark Potter)

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