CHICAGO -- Block cheese prices on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange continued to decline last week, averaging $1.72 per pound for the trading week ended Aug. 22, 2008, off 5 cents compared with the previous week.
The closing price for block cheese was $1.76 per pound Monday and $1.70 per pound Tuesday and Wednesday. Prices rose slightly to close at $1.71 Thursday and slightly above $1.71 per pound Friday.
Block cheese prices are 30 cents per pound lower than what they were this time last year, when block cheese averaged $2.02 per pound. Prices have declined nearly 35 cents per pound since mid-July.
Wheat Wheat for September delivery remained fairly stable last week, closing at $9.38 per bushel Friday on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange. Friday's close was up 3 percent compared with the previous Friday, when wheat finished the trading week at $9.12 per bushel. Prices had closed at $9.28 per bushel Monday, $9.20 Tuesday, $9.45 per bushel Wednesday and $9.68 per bushel on Thursday.
Gasoline and diesel fuel The nationwide average for regular unleaded gasoline fell to an average of $3.68 per gallon Aug. 25, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service, off 13 cents from this time last week. Prices are off 8 percent from an average of $3.98 per gallon a month ago and up 34 percent from an average of $2.75 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 $4.29 per gallon Aug. 25, off 9 cents from $4.38 per gallon last week. Diesel prices are up 46 percent from an average of $2.93 per gallon this time last year.
Natural gas Natural gas spot prices decreased in all areas except the Rocky Mountains during the reporting period ended Aug. 20, according to the Energy Information Administration. Cooler temperatures around the country and the diminishing threat from Tropical Storm Fay contributed to the price declines. During the reporting period, prices at the Henry Hub fell 9 cents to $8.02 per MMBtu, compared with $8.11 per MMBtu the previous week.