Commodities prices bear better news

Cheese

Block cheese prices stayed flat last week on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, averaging just over $1.63 per pound all week long, up 1 cent from last week. 

Cheese prices are up 18 percent compared with last year, when they averaged $1.38 per pound.

Wheat

Skyrocketing prices from Russia’s threatened ban on grain exports have returned to more normal $6-plus levels, though they’re still trending higher than before the announcement.

Prices for wheat on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange closed at $7, a 15 cent drop from $7.15 the previous Friday, but still among the highest closings in the past two years. 

Wheat prices closed at just under $6.83 on Monday, $6.78 on Tuesday, $6.84 per bushel Wednesday, and $7.07 per bushel Thursday.

Gasoline and diesel fuel

The nationwide average for regular unleaded gasoline was $2.71 per gallon Aug. 23, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service, down 4 cents from the previous week’s average of 2.75. Prices are relatively flat from $2.72 per gallon a month ago and up 3 percent from an average of $2.63 per gallon this time last year. Mid-range unleaded currently averages $2.88 per gallon while premium unleaded as of Aug. 16 stood at $2.98 per gallon.

The nationwide average price for diesel fuel stood at $2.97 per gallon Aug. 23, down 1 percent from the previous week. Diesel prices are up 10 percent from an average of $2.69 per gallon this time last year.

Natural gas

Natural gas spot prices decreased this report week, as temperatures moderated for much of the country, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. A robust supply level in the Rocky Mountains, in the face of dwindling storage opportunities, was a likely factor leading to steep price declines in many markets west of the Mississippi River. During the report week, the Henry Hub spot price decreased by $0.03 to $4.35 per million Btu (MMBtu).

Pizza company stocks

Shares in Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed at $42.32 on Aug. 20, up $1.47  compared with the previous week's close of $40.85. Yum! traded at a 52-week high of $44 in April 2010 and a 52-week low of $32.49 in October 2009.

Domino's closed at $13.08, down 9 cents compared with the previous Friday's close of $13.17. DPZ traded as high as $16.32 in April 2010 and as low as $7.09 in August 2009.

Papa John's stock closed at $23.97, up 28 cents compared with the previous Friday's close of $23.69. PZZA traded at a 52-week high of $28.84 in May 2010 and a 52-week low of $21.44 in December 2009.

Shares in CEC Entertainment Inc., parent company of Chuck E. Cheese restaurants, closed at $31.56, up 72 cents compared with the previous week's close of $30.84. CEC traded at a 52-week high of $41.79 in April 2010 and a 52-week low of $24.69 in October 2009.

California Pizza Kitchen’s stock suffered after a deal with American Securities fell through. It closed at $15.40 on Aug. 20, down 78 cents from the previous week's close of $16.18. CPKI traded as high as $22.92 in April 2010 and as low as $12.29 in December 2009.

Pizza Inn closed at $2 on Aug. 20, up 1 cent from the previous week's close of $1.99. PZZI traded at a 52-week high of $2.20 in April 2010 and a 52-week low of $1.50 in December 2009.

 

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