CHICAGO -- Block cheese prices on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange climbed steadily upward last week, averaged slightly less than $1.21 per pound for the trading week ended Feb. 13, up 6 cents from the previous week.   Block cheese prices closed at slightly higher than $1.16 per pound Monday, slightly higher than $1.19 per pound on Tuesday, slightly under $1.21 per pound Wednesday, slightly under $1.23 per pound Thursday and $1.24 per pound on Friday.
Prices are off 80 cents, or 40 percent, compared with this time last year, when block cheese averaged $2.01 per pound.   Wheat   Wheat for March delivery closed at $6.36 per bushel Friday on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange. Prices had closed at just above $6.58 per bushel Monday, just above $6.53 per bushel Tuesday, just above $6.41 per bushel Wednesday and just under $6.40 per bushel Thursday.   Gasoline and diesel fuel   The nationwide average for regular unleaded gasoline was $1.97 per gallon Feb. 16, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service, up 5 cents from the previous week.   Prices are up 8 percent from an average of $1.83 per gallon a month ago and off 35 percent from an average of $3.01 per gallon this time last year. Mid-range unleaded averaged $2.09 per gallon while premium unleaded stood at $2.16 per gallon.   The nationwide average price for diesel fuel stood at $2.32 per gallon Feb. 16, off 3 cents from last week. Diesel prices are off 33 percent from an average of $3.44 per gallon this time last year.   Natural gas   Natural gas prices decreased this week as heating demand slackened with a break from the bitter cold of prior weeks. During the report week, the Henry Hub spot price decreased by $0.33 per million Btu to $4.68.
The Henry Hub spot price fell 33 cents to $4.68 per million BTUs.
Prices in the Northeast stood at $4.68 per MMBtu on Feb. 11, off $6.08 compared with $11.55 the previous week.

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