CHICAGO -- Block cheese prices on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange trended upward during the shortened trading week, averaging slightly under $1.79 per pound for the trading week ended Dec. 5, 2008, relatively unchanged from the previous week.
 
Block cheese prices remained fairly stable for the week, closing at $1.79 per pound every day except Wednesday, when they closed at $1.77 per pound.
 
Prices are down 37 cents compared with this time last year, when block cheese averaged just above $2.16 per pound.
 
Wheat   Wheat for December delivery closed at $5.61 per bushel Friday on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange. Prices had closed at just above $5.78 per bushel Monday, $5.90 per bushel Tuesday, $5.88 per bushel Wednesday and slightly above $5.72 per bushel on Thursday.
 
Gasoline and diesel fuel   The nationwide average for regular unleaded gasoline was $1.72 per gallon Dec. 10, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service, off 10 cents from $1.82 per gallon this time last week.
 
Prices are off 25 percent from an average of $2.28 per gallon a month ago and off 43 percent from an average of $3.01 per gallon this time last year. Mid-range unleaded averaged $1.82 per gallon, while premium unleaded stood at $1.82 per gallon.
 
The nationwide average price for diesel fuel stood at $2.64 per gallon Dec. 8, off 10 cents from $2.74 per gallon last week. Diesel prices are off 23 percent from an average of $3.44 per gallon this time last year.
 
Natural gas   Natural gas spot prices have decreased at most markets in the lower 48 states since Nov. 26, although some markets posted modest gains. Prices at the Henry Hub rose 5 cents per million Btu or less than 0.5 percent, to $6.48 per MMBtu.
 
Prices in the Northeast fell to $7.34 per MMBtu for the reporting period from $7.91, off 57 cents from Nov. 26.
 
 

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