MOSCOW, RUSSIA — Russian grain trader Demetra said on Oct. 20 that it recently exported 60,000 tonnes of wheat to Algeria, Reuters reported. It is the first major wheat shipment from Russia to that country in five years.

The shipment involved two vessels that arrived in Algeria in September, according to the report.

Algeria, which ranked fifth in wheat imports during the 2020-21 marketing year, takes in around 7 million tonnes of wheat per year. Russia gained access to the market when Algeria relaxed its quality standards recently, the report said, noting that the country typically imports wheat from France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania and Argentina.

Russia is expected to compete with the European Union for the top spot in wheat exports in the 2021-22 marketing year. Both are forecast to export 35 million tonnes of wheat this year, according to the Foreign Agricultural Service of the US Department of Agriculture.

Demetra is a subsidiary of state-owned VTB, Russia’s second largest bank, which has become the country’s largest operator of domestic grain infrastructure after purchasing a number of assets in 2019 and 2020.