Average block cheese prices increased more than a penny last week on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, coming in at an average of $1.348.
Block cheese prices closed at $1.34 Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday; $1.36 on Thursday; and just over $1.36 Friday.
Cheese prices remain down from last year, when they averaged $1.63 per pound.
Wheat prices flirted with reaching the $9 mark last week, hitting $8.99 Wednesday on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, before dropping to close just under $8.71 on Jan. 7. This is 10-cent decrease from the previous Friday, when wheat closed at $8.81.
Wheat closed at $8.89 Jan. 3; $8.76 Jan. 4; $8.99 Jan. 5; $8.83 Jan. 6; and $8.70 Jan. 7.
Gasoline and diesel fuel
The nationwide average for regular unleaded gasoline was $3.08 on Monday, a slight increase from the previous week’s average of $3.07, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service.
Prices also are up from a month ago, when they were $2.97, and from this time last year, when consumers were paying $2.74 at the pump.
Mid-range unleaded currently averages $3.28, while premium unleaded Monday was $3.39.
The nationwide average for diesel fuel stood at $3.33 per gallon Monday, up 2 cents from last week’s $3.31. Diesel prices also remain up from $3.24 a month ago, and from $2.90 a year ago.
Natural gas spot prices rose at all domestic pricing points, likely in response to expectations for still-colder weather. The Henry Hub price rose 33 cents per million Btu (MMBtu) (about 8 percent) for the week ending Jan. 5, to $4.52 per MMBtu.
Pizza company stocks
Shares in Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed at $49.52 on Jan. 7, an increase from its $49.05 closing Dec. 31. Yum! traded at an all-time 52-week high of $52.47 in November 2010, and a 52-week low of $32.49 in February 2010.
Domino’s closed at $16.63 Jan. 7, a big bump from its $15.95 closing Dec. 31, overtaking the company’s previous 52-week high of $16.32 in April 2010. Domino’s traded as low as $7.57 in December 2009.
Papa John's stock closed at $28.14 Jan. 7, up from its $27.70 closing Dec. 31. PZZA traded at a 52-week high of $28.84 in May 2010, and a 52-week low of $21.77 in February 2010.
Shares in CEC Entertainment Inc., parent company of Chuck E. Cheese restaurants, closed at $38.59 Jan. 7, slightly below the Dec. 31 closing of $38.83. CEC traded at a 52-week high of $41.79 in April 2010, and a 52-week low of $30.84 Aug. 13, 2010.
California Pizza Kitchen dropped to $16.73 Jan. 7 from its $17.28 closing Dec. 31. CPKI traded as high as $22.92 in April 2010, and as low as $13.19 in July 2010.
Pizza Inn opened up the first week of the year with a $2.12 closing Jan. 7, up from its $1.95 Dec. 31 closing. PZZI traded at a 52-week high of $2.20 in April 2010, and a 52-week low of $1.55 in January 2010.