COMMODITIES: A Crash in Grain?

Are U.S. grain markets hell-bent for calamity? Last week it looked as if they were performing the same speculative shenanigans that preceded cotton's October crash (TIME, Oct. 28).

Prices racked up new records almost, daily. Wheat set the pace. At Chicago, March wheat sprouted up all the way to $2.96½ a bushel, highest since 1917. (Most bakers started passing their higher costs along to consumers by boosting bread prices 1¢ a loaf.) Other grains climbed.

In a month, the long commitments of small wheat traders had jumped from 16.5 million to 23...

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