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UPDATE 1-Syria's Hoboob seeking 200,000 tonnes of wheat outside tender process

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DAMASCUS, March 8 (Reuters) - Syria's General Establishment for Cereal Processing and Trade (Hoboob) is seeking price offers to buy 200,000 tonnes of soft bread-making wheat outside of the tender process, an official document seen by Reuters showed on Sunday.

Hoboob is looking to purchase wheat of Russian, Bulgarian or Romanian origin, with a deadline for offers set at March 11, the document said.

The wheat is to be shipped within two months of signing a contract, the document said.

Syria's Hoboob is holding a tender on March 23 to purchase 200,000 tonnes of Russian origin wheat.

The agency has been unable to make purchases in previous tenders for the same amount.

Wheat in Syria is used in the production of flat bread, a subsidized staple for a population that has suffered years of conflict.

Syria's wheat and barley crops this year improved, helped by favorable rainfall and better overall security, but food security remains a challenge and grain imports are complicated by financial sanctions. (Reporting By Kinda Makieh; Writing by Maha El Dahan; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle and Mark Potter)

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