Average wheat prices fell to their lowest level of the year last week, while gas prices also continued to fall. Three pizza companies turned in fresh 52-week highs last week, as well.
Average block cheese prices remained steady last week on the Chicago Mercantile, averaging $1.65 for the second week in a row.
Cheese was 25 cents higher two months ago, when it averaged $1.90. It remains significantly lower than the $2.10 average at the end of 2012.
Cheese markets closed at $1.64 Monday, and $1.66 Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. The market was closed Thursday for the Fourth of July holiday.
Average wheat prices tumbled to $7.64 last week on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, their lowest prices of the year so far. Last week, wheat averaged $7.98.
Prices averaged $9.13 at the end of 2012.
Last week, wheat closed at $7.78 Monday, $7.58 Tuesday, $7.61 Wednesday and $7.61 on Friday.
Gasoline and diesel fuel
The nationwide average price for regular unleaded fuel is $3.47, down a penny from $3.48 last week.
According to the AAA and the Oil Price Information Service, prices a month ago were $3.63. Last year at this time, consumers were paying $3.38 at the pump.
Monday's mid-range unleaded is $3.65, from $3.66 last week. Premium gas is $3.81, from $3.83 last week.
Diesel fuel prices are $3.81, down from $3.82 last week. The price of diesel fuel was $3.85 a month ago, and $3.67 a year ago.
Natural gas hub prices decreased in most areas during the report week (June 19 to June 26). The Henry Hub spot price closed June 26 at $3.72 per million British thermal units (MMBtu), down 21.0 cents from $3.93 the previous week.
At the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex), futures prices also decreased over the week. The near-month contract (July 2013) expired June 26 at $3.707, down 25.6 cents from $3.963 per MMBtu a week earlier. The August contract price, which today becomes the prompt month price, settled June 26 at $3.737.
Pizza company stocks
Shares of Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed last week at $71.66, up from $69.60 the week prior. The company's 52-week low was in early February at $59.68. The company's 52-week high was $74.75 in November.
Domino's closed out last week at $61.01, up from $58.80 the week prior. The company refreshed its 52-week high on Friday at $61.48. Its low was $30.16 a year ago.
Papa John's closed last week at $68.12, a jump from $65.47 the week prior. PZZA also turned in a new 52-week high last week at $69.37. The company hit its 52-week low of $46.42 a year ago.
CEC Entertainment Inc., parent company of Chuck E. Cheese restaurants, finished out last week at $42.95, up from $41.51 the week prior. CEC turned in a new 52-week high on Friday at $43.89. Its 52-week low was in August at $28.23.
Pizza Inn closed out last week at $5.93, up slightly from $5.65 the week prior. PZZI hit a new 52-week high in May, at $9.18. The company traded as low as $2.20 a year ago.
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