CHICAGO -- Block cheese prices on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange continued to slide last week, averaging $1.75 per pound for the trading week ended Aug. 8, 2008, off 21 cents compared with the previous week.   The closing price for block cheese was $1.80 per pound Monday and slightly above $1.76 Tuesday and $1.97. Prices fell to $1.71 per pound Wednesday, and Thursday before rising slightly to $1.77 per pound Friday.   Block cheese prices are 18 cents per pound lower than they were this time last year, when block cheese averaged $1.93 per pound.   Wheat   Wheat for September delivery remained fairly stable last week, closing at $8.58 per bushel Friday on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange. Friday's close was slightly lower compared with the previous Friday, when wheat finished the trading week at $8.74 per bushel.   Prices had closed at $8.42 per bushel Monday, $8.53 Tuesday, $8.54 per bushel Wednesday and $9.04 per bushel on Thursday.
Gasoline and diesel fuel   The nationwide average for regular unleaded gasoline fell to an average of $3.81 per gallon Aug. 4, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service, off 7 cents from this time last week. Prices are off 7 percent from an average of $4.10 per gallon a month ago and up 37 percent from an average of $2.78 per gallon this time last year. Mid-range unleaded averaged $3.97 per gallon, while premium unleaded stood at $4.09 per gallon.   The nationwide average price for diesel fuel stood at $4.54 per gallon Aug. 11, off 11 cents from $4.74 per gallon from last week. Diesel prices are up 54 percent from an average of $2.94 per gallon this time last year.   Natural gas   Natural gas spot prices decreased during the reporting period ended Aug. 6, according to the Energy Information Administration, marking the fifth consecutive week the price of natural gas has fallen.
During the reporting period, prices at the Henry Hub fell 31 cents per MMBtu, or about 3 percent, to $8.70 per MMBtu.   Prices in the Northeast were $9.25 per MMBtu Aug. 6, off 83 cents compared with $10.08 per MMBtu the previous week.

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