Commodities: Cheese up 25 percent this year

Cheese

Block cheese prices rose just slightly last week on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, averaging just under $1.76 per pound, up 1 cent from the week of Sept. 27. Prices have inched up an average of about 5 cents in the last 30 days. 

Cheese prices are up 24 percent overall compared with last year, when they averaged $1.42 per pound.

Wheat

Wheat prices did not press higher last week than the rest of September’s highs. The highs were due to a Russian ban on grain exports announced this summer. Prices for wheat on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange closed at $7.07, a 56-cent decrease from the previous Friday.

Wheat prices closed at $7.47 on Monday, just under $7.25 on Tuesday, $7.24 per bushel Wednesday, and $7.21 per bushel Thursday.

Gasoline and diesel fuel

The nationwide average for regular unleaded gasoline was $2.72 per gallon October 4, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service, up 3 cents from the previous week’s average of 2.69. Prices are up 1 percent from $2.68 per gallon a month ago and up 11 percent from an average of $2.46 per gallon this time last year. Mid-range unleaded currently averages $2.89 per gallon while premium unleaded as of October 4 stood at just under $2.99 per gallon.

The nationwide average for diesel fuel stood at $3 per gallon October 4, relatively flat from the previous week’s price of $2.97. Diesel prices are up 14 percent from an average of $2.63 per gallon this time last year.

Natural gas

Natural gas spot prices at most market locations in the lower 48 States decreased between 5 and 10 percent this report week (Wednesday to Wednesday, September 22–29), according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The week coincided with the first week of fall, a season in which demand is typically lower given the lack of extreme weather conditions across the country. During the report week, the Henry Hub spot price decreased by $0.21 per million Btu (MMBtu), or 5 percent, to $3.81 per MMBtu.

Pizza company stocks

Shares in Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed at $46.48 on October 1, down 2 cents compared with the previous week's close of $46.50. Yum! traded at a 52-week high of $46.91 in September 2010 and a 52-week low of $32.49 in October 2009.

Domino's closed at $13.15, down 20 cents compared with the previous Friday's close of $13.35. DPZ traded as high as $16.32 in April 2010 and as low as $7.09 in November 2009.

Papa John's stock closed at $26.57, up 31 cents compared with the previous Friday's close of $26.26. 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 $33.96, down $1.72 compared with the previous week's close of $35.68. 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 closed at $17.35 on October 1, down 13 cents from the previous week's close of $17.42. CPKI traded as high as $22.92 in April 2010 and as low as $12.29 in December 2009.

Pizza Inn closed at $1.94 on September October 1, up 6 cents from the previous week's close of $1.88. 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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