Agricultural commodities are closing higher after a cold snap in the southern U.S. damaged winter crops.

Analysts said Wednesday that wheat may be scarcer in the coming months after a hard freeze stretching from Tennessee to Texas damaged crops this week.

May wheat rose 5.25 cents at $7.3675 per bushel. Corn rose a nickel to $7.3525 per bushel. Soybeans added 6 cents to $14.5375 per bushel.

Trading has been relatively quiet this week ahead of a government report on grain stocks due out Thursday. Analysts expect the report to show corn supplies at a 15-year low. Traders are bidding up grains because they expect demand to increase after the report is released.

Energy futures and most metals settled higher. Silver edged down.

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