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Feb 10, 2004
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RECORD ESTABLISHED IN SPRING WHEAT FUTURES OPEN INTEREST February 10, 2004

MINNEAPOLIS At the close of trade on February 9, open interest in spring wheat futures, traded at the Minneapolis Grain Exchange (MGEX) since 1883, stood at an all time high of 35,473 contracts.  Open interest is the number of contracts that have not been liquidated either by an offsetting trade, delivery or expiration of the contract.

“Higher flat prices in the country have brought a lot of activity to the spring wheat market,” according to Scott Cordes, president of Country Hedging Inc., a brokerage firm headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota.  Cordes continued, “Higher prices coupled with higher-than-normal price volatility brings both risk managers and risk takers to the market in higher numbers.”

Spring wheat futures daily open interest averaged 25,487 contracts for calendar year 2003 and has climbed steadily since the beginning of 2004.  Also, January 2004 volume in spring wheat futures at MGEX was 94,634 contracts, a record for that month.

Since October 17, 2003, the March 2004 spring wheat futures closing price has rallied from $3.47 to $4.17 per bushel, a contract high closing price established yesterday.

“September 2004 futures closed yesterday at $3.89, twenty-five cents higher than the September 2003 closing prices at this time last year,” stated Cordes. “Subsequently, we’ve seen increased interest in new crop pricing over the past several weeks.”

MGEX, established in 1881, is the only market for hard red spring wheat, Hard Winter Wheat Index (HWI), National Corn Index (NCI) and National Soybean Index (NSI) futures and options. www.mgex.com
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