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CHICAGO -- Block cheese prices on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange extended their slide, averaging slightly above $1.07 per pound for the trading week ended Jan. 9, off 12 cents from the previous week.
 
Prices did rebound slightly at the end of the week. Block cheese prices closed at slightly under $1.13 per pound Monday, $1.08 per pound Tuesday, $1.04 per pound Wednesday and Thursday and slightly above $1.07 per pound on Friday.
 
Prices are down 90 cents, or 46 percent, compared with this time last year, when block cheese averaged just above $1.97 per pound.   Wheat   Wheat for March delivery closed at just above $6.80 per bushel Friday on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange. Prices had closed at just above $6.57 per bushel Monday, just above $6.84 per bushel Tuesday, $6.64 per bushel Wednesday and just above $6.64 per bushel on Thursday.
 
Gasoline and diesel fuel
The nationwide average for regular unleaded gasoline was $1.79 per gallon Jan. 12, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service, up 17 cents from the previous week.   Prices are up 8 percent from an average of $1.66 per gallon a month ago and off 44 percent from an average of $3.08 per gallon this time last year. Mid-range unleaded averaged $1.90 per gallon, while premium unleaded stood at $1.97 per gallon.   The nationwide average price for diesel fuel stood at $2.43 per gallon Jan. 12, up 3 cents from $2.40 per gallon last week. Diesel prices are off 29 percent from an average of $3.44 per gallon this time last year.   Natural gas
 
Since Dec. 31, natural gas spot prices increased at most markets in the lower 48 states except in the Northeast region, according to the Energy Information Administration. Prices at the Henry Hub rose 26 cents per million Btu, or about 5 percent, to $5.89 per MMBtu. 
 
Prices in the Northeast stood at $7.63 per MMBtu on Jan. 7.
 

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