Cheese jumps above last year’s average

Average block cheese prices continued to climb last week on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, coming in at an average of $1.67, up from $1.51 the previous week.

Block cheese prices inched up each day, closing at $1.58 Monday; $1.65 Tuesday; $1.69 Wednesday; $1.70 Thursday; and $1.73 Friday.

Cheese prices surpassed last year’s average of $1.63 per pound.


Wheat prices broke the $9 mark two weeks ago and have shown no signs of turning back, averaging $9.64 on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange.

Wheat closed at $9.50 Monday, $9.56 Tuesday, $9.77 Wednesday, $9.76 Thursday, and $9.61 Friday.

Gasoline and diesel fuel

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

Prices remain up from a month ago, when they were $3.07, and from this time last year, when consumers were paying $2.67 at the pump.

Mid-range unleaded currently averages $3.29, while premium unleaded Monday was just under $3.41.

The nationwide average for diesel fuel stood at $3.43, up a penny from $3.42 per gallon last week. Diesel prices also remain up from $3.31 a month ago, and from $2.86 a year ago.

Natural Gas

Natural gas spot prices were soft at all domestic pricing points. The Henry Hub price fell 8 cents per million Btu (MMBtu) (about 1.7 percent) for the week ending Jan. 26, to $4.40 per MMBtu.

Pizza company stocks

Shares in Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed at $46.40 Friday, a big drop from its previous week’s closing of $48.27, which was boosted by the news of its intention to sell Long John Silver’s and A&W. 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 $16.37 Friday, down from its $16.67 closing a week prior. DPZ’s 52-week high was earlier this month at $17.16. Domino’s traded as low as $10.64 in February 2010.

Papa John's stock closed at $28.58 Friday, a dip from the previous week’s closing of $28.84, which was PZZA’s 52-week high. The company 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 $36.88 Friday, a decrease from its $37.59 closing Jan. 21. 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 $15.75 Friday from its $16.31 closing Jan. 21. CPKI traded as high as $22.92 in April 2010, and as low as $13.19 in July 2010.

Pizza Inn turned in at $1.91 Friday, a drop from its Jan. 21 close of $1.98. PZZI traded at a 52-week high of $2.20 in April 2010, and a 52-week low of $1.55 in January 2010.


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