CHICAGO -- Block cheese prices on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange averaged $1.07 per pound for the trading week ended Jan. 23, up less than a penny from the previous week. Block cheese prices closed at slightly above $1.06 per pound Tuesday, slightly above $1.07 per pound Wednesday, $1.07 per pound Thursday and slightly above $1.07 per pound on Friday. The markets were closed Monday for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Prices are down 58 cents, or 35 percent, compared with this time last year, when block cheese averaged $1.65 per pound. Wheat Wheat for March delivery closed at just under $6.51 per bushel Friday on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange. Prices had closed at just above $6.29 per bushel Tuesday, just above $6.47 per bushel Wednesday and just above $6.51 per bushel Thursday. Gasoline and diesel fuel The nationwide average for regular unleaded gasoline was $1.84 per gallon Jan. 26, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service, unchanged from the previous week. Prices are up 13 percent from an average of $1.63 per gallon a month ago and off 38 percent from an average of $2.99 per gallon this time last year. Mid-range unleaded averaged $1.96 per gallon while premium unleaded stood at $2.03 per gallon. The nationwide average price for diesel fuel stood at $2.29 per gallon Jan. 26, off 3 cents from last week. Diesel prices are off 32 percent from an average of $3.38 per gallon this time last year. Natural gas Bitter cold in much of the eastern half of the country failed to boost prices for the report week ended Jan. 22, according to the Energy Information Administration, as continued concerns over the economy and the perception of a healthy supply picture dominated price movements. The Henry Hub spot price decreased by 75 cents per million Btu MMBtu to $4.72 during the report week.
Prices in the Northeast stood at $5.93 per MMBtu on Jan. 22, off $9.91 compared with $15.84 the previous week.