Source: University of Wisconsin, Madison
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- Pizzeria operators often buy cheese in a "block plus" arrangement, meaning they agree to pay a certain amount over the CME block price.
- Block cheese prices on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange rose to as high as $2.30 per pound last May. They spent the rest of 2008 fluctuating between $1.60 a $2 per pound.
- Prices were driven by growth in the worldwide demand for cheese and by a significant increase in input and production costs. High fuel prices, for example, led to increased demand for ethanol, which drove up demand for corn, leading to a rise in cattle feed prices.
- From the beginning of December to mid-January, cheese prices plummeted from around $1.80 per pound to as low as $1.04. The global recession has slowed overseas demand for milk and other dairy products, causing cheese prices to fall.