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Feb. 25, 2004
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ALL-TIME HIGH VOLUME DAY RECORDED IN SPRING WHEAT FUTURES February 25, 2004

MINNEAPOLIS Record daily volume of 20,154 hard red spring wheat futures contracts exchanged hands at the Minneapolis Grain Exchange (MGEX) during the trading session on February 24, 2004.  Yesterday’s volume broke the previous daily volume record of 13,489 contracts, established on November 29, 2000, by 6,665 contracts and occurred one day after open interest in spring wheat futures reached an all-time high of 38,996 contracts.  Open interest is the number of contracts that have not been liquidated either by an offsetting trade, delivery or expiration of the contract.

“The markets were supported initially by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announcement of wheat sales of 430,000 metric tonnes to China,” according to Ryan Kelbrants of ADM Investor Services.  Kelbrants continued, “We finished lower for the day as the markets experienced hedge pressure from the country and long March positions were either liquidated or spread into the May in advance of the March delivery period.”

The USDA announced on February 24, 2004 sales of 280,000 metric tonnes of hard red spring wheat by private exporters to China, with 105,000 tonnes to ship yet during the 2003-04 marketing year and an additional 175,000 tonnes to ship during the 2004-05 marketing year.  The USDA also announced Tuesday white wheat sales by private exporters of 150,000 metric tonnes to be shipped during marketing years 2003-04 and 2004-05.

March 2004 spring wheat futures closed at a contract high of $4.42 1⁄2 cents per bushel on Monday, February 23, 2004 and finished 6 1⁄4 cents lower yesterday.  The March 2004 spring wheat contract rallied 43 3⁄4 cents per bushel from January 28, 2004 through Monday’s close.

With three trading days left in February, total hard red spring wheat futures volume stood at 130,457 contracts, 13,125 contracts ahead of the previous February volume record set in 1999.  Volume for December 2003 and January 2004 were also record-high for spring wheat futures for those months.

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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