Midwest Grain Products, Inc. (Nasdaq: MWGP) reported yesterday that while abnormally high energy costs had a negative impact on the company's earnings for the third quarter of fiscal 2001, conditions currently are much improved. As anticipated in a previous report, skyrocketing natural gas prices caused energy costs to soar in the quarter, which ended March 31. "However, although still higher than they were a year ago, those costs are down from their peak winter levels, helping pave the way for profitability in the fourth quarter," said Ladd Seaberg, president and chief executive officer. "Furthermore," he said, "we are taking measures through our risk management program to better protect against possibilities for future severe hikes in natural gas prices."