CHICAGO -- Block cheese prices on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange fell slightly last week, averaging just under $1.71 per pound for the trading week ended Aug. 29, 2008, off a penny compared with the previous week.   The closing price for block cheese was $1.71 per pound Monday and Tuesday and slightly under $1.71 per pound Wednesday and Thursday. Prices finished the week at just above $1.70 per pound.
 
Block cheese prices are 30 cents per pound lower than they were this time last year, when block cheese averaged $2.02 per pound.
 
Wheat   Wheat for September delivery remained fairly stable last week, closing at $8.61 per bushel Friday on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange. Friday's close was off 8 percent compared with the previous Friday, when wheat finished the trading week at $9.38 per bushel.   Prices had closed at $9.14 per bushel Monday, $8.96 Tuesday, $8.78 per bushel Wednesday and $8.55 per bushel on Thursday.
 
Gasoline and diesel fuel   The nationwide average for regular unleaded gasoline was $3.68 per gallon Sept. 2, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service, unchanged from this time last week. Prices are off 5 percent from an average of $3.89 per gallon a month ago and up 32 percent from an average of $2.78 per gallon this time last year. Mid-range unleaded averaged $3.84 per gallon, while premium unleaded stood at $3.96 per gallon.   The nationwide average price for diesel fuel stood at $4.26 per gallon Sept. 2, off 3 cents from $4.29 per gallon from last week. Diesel prices are up 45 percent from an average of $2.94 per gallon this time last year.
 
Natural gas   Natural gas spot prices increased at most market locations in the lower 48 states for the reporting week ending Aug. 27 in the wake of Hurricane Gustav, according to the Energy Information Administration.   During the reporting period, prices at the Henry Hub rose 53 cents to $8.55 per MMBtu, compared with $8.02 per MMBtu the previous week. Prices in the Northeast were $8.93 per MMBtu.

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