Wheat shatters the $9 mark


Average block cheese prices continued to climb last week on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, coming in at an average of $1.51, up from $1.47 the previous week.

Block cheese prices closed at $1.52 Tuesday, $1.50 Wednesday and Thursday, and $1.52 Friday.

Cheese prices remain down from last year, when they averaged $1.63 per pound.


Wheat prices broke the $9 mark and showed no signs of turning back, averaging $9.18 last week on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange.

Wheat closed at $9.06 Tuesday, $9.11 Wednesday, $9.20 Thursday and $9.37 Friday. 

Gasoline and diesel fuel

The nationwide average for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.11, up from $3.09 the previous week, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service.

Prices also are up from a month ago, when they were $3.03, and from this time last year, when consumers were paying $2.71 at the pump.

Mid-range unleaded currently averages $3.30, while premium unleaded Monday was $3.42.

The nationwide average for diesel fuel stood at $3.42, a 5 cent jump from $3.37 per gallon last week. Diesel prices also remain up from $3.28 a month ago, and from $2.89 a year ago.

Natural Gas

Natural gas prices fell at most market locations across the country, as bitterly cold weather subsided. At the Henry Hub, the natural gas price fell 7 cents from $4.55 per million Btu (MMBtu) Jan. 12, to $4.48 per MMBtu Jan. 19.

Pizza company stocks

Shares in Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed at $48.27 last week, boosted a bit by news of its intention to sell Long John Silver’s and A&W brands. Yum! closed at $47.84 the week prior. The company 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 $16.67 Friday, down slightly from its $17.16 closing a week prior; the company’s 52-week high. Domino’s traded as low as $10.64 in February 2010.

Papa John's stock closed at $28.84, Jan. 21, up from its $28.71 closing Jan. 14 and matching its 52-week high previously hit in May 2010. PZZA traded at a 52-week low of $21.77 in February 2010.

Shares in CEC Entertainment Inc., parent company of Chuck E. Cheese restaurants, closed at $37.59 Jan. 21, a big drop from its $39.48 closing Jan. 14. 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 slipped to $16.31 Jan. 21 from its $16.73 closing Jan. 14. CPKI traded as high as $22.92 in April 2010, and as low as $13.19 in July 2010.

Pizza Inn turned in at $1.98 Jan. 21, an increase from its $1.92 closing the week prior. PZZI traded at a 52-week high of $2.20 in April 2010, and a 52-week low of $1.55 in January 2010.

Photo provided by Pikturewerk.

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