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May 9, 2003
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MINNEAPOLIS GRAIN EXCHANGE ESTABLISHES LAUNCH DATE FOR NEW CONTRACTS May 9, 2003

MINNEAPOLIS The Minneapolis Grain Exchange (MGEX) ownership has approved rules and regulations for Hard Winter Wheat Index (HWI) futures and options.  Ballots were counted on April 8, 2003 and the contracts are scheduled to launch May 9, 2003 on the exchange’s electronic trading platform, MGEXpress®.

The new contracts will be the first financially settled wheat futures and options traded in the U.S.  The settlement index, the Hard Winter Wheat Index (HWI), is a simple average of approximately 400 country elevator bids collected daily by Data Transmission Network (DTN), an Omaha-based electronic commerce and information services company. 

In February 2001, MGEX and DTN entered into a licensing agreement whereby MGEX would develop financially settled futures contracts using DTN data.  HWI futures and options will be the third products launched under this arrangement and will be traded exclusively on MGEXpress® alongside National Corn Index (NCI) and National Soybean Index (NSI) futures and options, launched on February 15, 2002.  HWI futures and options will be submitted to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) under the certification process, which does not require approval prior to contract launch.

“Preliminary analysis indicates that HWI futures and options will be very highly correlated to wheat prices originated in the country, offering buyers and sellers a very effective hedge and the opportunity to manage basis risk,” said Kent Horsager, MGEX president and chief executive officer.  “Our exchange has worked hard over the past year to improve and enhance accessibility to our electronic market, MGEXpress®, and participants in the hard winter wheat market will be beneficiaries of those efforts.”
HWI futures and options contracts will settle financially each calendar month to a three-day average of the Hard Winter Wheat Index.  DTN collects elevator bids daily for hard red winter wheat and averages them to arrive at the HWI.  The contracts will reflect country-origin pricing for hard red winter wheat.  Because there is no delivery alternative, futures and options contracts will expire simultaneously.

Trading hours for HWI futures and options are as follows:
Morning session:  8:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. (Central Time)
Afternoon session:  2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. (Central Time)
 
Complete contract specifications for HWI futures and options, as well as a pre-trade analysis of the potential for the contracts, can be found at www.mgex.com.
MGEX, established in 1881, is the only market for hard red spring wheat, NSI and NCI futures and options.  For more information about MGEX, visit www.mgex.com.
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