CHICAGO -- Block cheese prices on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange continued their decline during the shortened trading week last week, averaging $1.28 per pound for the trading week ended Dec. 24, off 12 cents from the previous week.
 
The CME was closed Thursday and Friday for the Christmas holiday.   Block cheese prices closed at slightly above $1.29 per pound Monday, slightly under $1.28 per pound Tuesday and $1.27 per pound Wednesday.
 
Prices are down 72 cents, or 36 percent, compared with this time last year, when block cheese averaged just above $2 per pound.   Wheat   Wheat for March delivery closed at $6.53 per bushel Friday on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange. Prices had closed at $6.33 per bushel Monday, just above $6.34 per bushel Tuesday and just under $6.42 per bushel Wednesday.
 
The MGEX was closed Thursday for Christmas.
 
Gasoline and diesel fuel   The nationwide average for regular unleaded gasoline was $1.62 per gallon Dec. 29, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service, off a penny from $1.63 per gallon this time last week.   Prices are off 11 percent from an average of $1.83 per gallon a month ago and off 47 percent from an average of $3.04 per gallon this time last year. Mid-range unleaded averaged $1.72 per gallon, while premium unleaded stood at $1.78 per gallon.   The nationwide average price for diesel fuel stood at $2.44 per gallon Dec. 29, off 15 cents from $2.59 per gallon last week. Diesel prices are off 29 percent from an average of $3.42 per gallon this time last year.   Natural gas
 
The Energy Information Administration did not issue a natural gas update this week.

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