MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, U.S. — MGEX announced on Feb. 1 that January total exchange volume of 151,714 contracts, a 50% increase over January 2010 total volume. The increase was led by trading of the exchange’s flagship Hard Red Spring Wheat (HRSW) futures contract which marked 149,924 contracts traded, a 51% increase. HRSW options trading increased 17% in the year-over-year period.

MGEX open interest in January finished 55% higher than the same period a year ago with 76,893 open contracts through Jan. 31 trading. Six trading days during the month ranked in the top 20 all time for open interest records. Jan. 3 was a top five day with 77,493 open contracts. Open interest in HRSW options contracts increased 178% over January 2010.

“Increased worldwide demand for high protein wheat, weather concerns and tight ending stocks all contributed to increased volume for our spring wheat contract in January,” said Mark G. Bagan, president and chief executive officer, MGEX. “We continue to encourage new participation in our legacy contract in North America and across the globe.”

January 2011 electronic trading was the sixth-highest electronic trading month in exchange history with 133,399 contracts trading electronically. It marks a 57% increase over January 2010 electronic trading volume.

Fiscal year-to-date trading volume, September 2010 through January 2011, is up 42% over the same period a year ago.