Cheese prices down more than 25 cents

Cheese

Average block cheese prices dropped more than a quarter last week on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, coming in at an average of $1.75, down from $2.01 the week prior.

Prices were $1.88 Monday, $1.82 Tuesday, $1.71 Wednesday, $1.69 Thursday and $1.68 Friday.

According to analysts, the cheese market crash is long overdue. The abundance of domestic dairy supplies should have pushed prices down sooner, but the earthquake and tsunami in Japan finally triggered the dramatic drop, said John Barone, president of Market Vision in Fairfield, N.J.

Cheese remains up from last year’s average of $1.63 per pound.

Wheat

Wheat prices continued to fluctuate greatly last week on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, coming in at an average of $8.37, a drop from the previous week’s average of $8.94.

Two weeks ago, wheat prices averaged $9.38.

Wheat closed at $8.53 Monday, $8.07 Tuesday, $8.06 Wednesday, $8.54 Thursday and $8.67 Friday. 

Gasoline and diesel fuel

Today’s nationwide average for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.54, a penny lower than $3.55 the previous week, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service. Prices remain up from a month ago, when they were $3.16, and from this time last year, when consumers were paying $2.82 at the pump.

Mid-range unleaded currently averages $3.69, while premium unleaded Monday was just under $3.82.

The nationwide average for diesel fuel is $3.93, a slight uptick from $3.92 per gallon last week. Diesel prices also remain up from $$3.55 a month ago, and from $2.94 a year ago.

Natural Gas

With imports (particularly from outside North America) becoming less significant to U.S. natural gas markets, spot natural gas prices this report week appeared largely unaffected by international events that have had large impacts on other energy commodities. As weather turned spring-like in many parts of the country and storage withdrawals continued to slow dramatically, the Henry Hub spot price increased just $0.04 to $3.85 per million Btu (MMBtu).

Pizza company stocks

Shares in Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed at $51 Friday, a big drop from its previous week’s closing of $52.58, which was the company’s all-time 52-week high. Yum! traded at a 52-week low of $37.47 in March 2010.

Domino’s fell to $17.72 Friday, down slightly from its previous week’s closing of $17.86, its 52-week high. Domino’s traded as low as $10.99 in June 2010.

Papa John's stock closed at $30.03 Friday, a bit of a decline from its previous week’s closing of $30.55, which was its 52-week high. The company traded at a 52-week low of $22.78 in July 2010.

Shares in CEC Entertainment Inc., parent company of Chuck E. Cheese restaurants, closed at $36.17 Friday, a drop from its previous week’s closing of $37.04. CEC traded at a 52-week high of $41.79 in April 2010, and a 52-week low of $30.84 on Aug. 13, 2010.

California Pizza Kitchen closed at $15.94 Friday, up from its previous week’s closing of $15.68. CPKI traded as high as $22.92 in April 2010, and as low as $13.19 in July 2010.

Pizza Inn turned in at an even $2.00 Friday, down from its previous week’s closing of $2.03. 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 telepathicgeorge.

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