Wheat prices fall to lowest level since May '12

Wheat prices fell under $7.50 last week, the crop's lowest average since May 2012.

And, although analysts last week expressed concern about gas prices inching toward a 5-year-high, fuel has actually tempered a bit for now.


Average block cheese prices jumped 6 cents last week on the Chicago Mercantile, averaging $1.75, from $1.69 the week prior.

Cheese averaged $1.90 in the spring. It remains significantly lower than the $2.10 average at the end of 2012.

Cheese markets closed at $1.72 Monday and Tuesday, $1.77 Wednesday, $1.78 Thursday and $1.76 on Friday.


What prices continued to fall last week on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, averaging $7.41, from $7.53 the week prior. This average marks wheat's lowest price since May 2012. Two weeks ago, wheat was at $7.92.

Prices averaged $9.13 at the end of 2012.

Last week, wheat closed at $7.46 Monday, $7.44 Tuesday, $7.43 Wednesday, $7.37 Thursday and $7.36 on Friday.

Gasoline and diesel fuel

The nationwide average price for regular unleaded fuel is $3.63, down slightly from $3.67 last week. According to the AAA and the Oil Price Information Service, prices a month ago were $3.58.

Last year at this time, consumers were paying $3.48 at the pump.

Today's mid-range unleaded is $3.79, from $3.83 last week.

Premium gas is $3.96, down from $3.99 last week.

Diesel fuel prices are averaging $3.88 today, up a penny from $3.87 last week. The price of diesel fuel was $3.82 a month ago and $3.76 a year ago.

Natural gas

Outside of the collapsing prices in the Northeast this week, natural gas spot prices remained relatively flat, with only little movement since the week prior (July 17 to July 24). The Henry Hub spot price ended the week at $3.70 per MMBtu July 24, up 3 cents from $3.67 per MMBtu at the beginning of the report period.

At the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex), the price of the near-month (August 2013) contract rose almost 7 cents, from $3.629 per MMBtu July 17 to $3.698 July 24.

Pizza company stocks

Shares of Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed last week at $72.10, up 2 cents from $72.08 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 finished last week at $61.50, down from $64.15 the week prior. DPZ hit its 52-week high two weeks ago, at $64.45. Its 52-week low was $33.28 a year ago.

Papa John's finished Friday at $67.52, down slightly from $69.26 the week prior. PZZA hit its 52-week high two weeks ago at $69.97. The company hit its 52-week low of $46.42 a year ago.

CEC Entertainment Inc., parent company of Chuck E. Cheese restaurants, closed out last week at $42.93, down from $45 the week prior. The company's 52-week high was two weeks ago at $45.66. Its low was in August at $28.23.

Pizza Inn closed out last week at $6.50, up a nickel from $6.45 the week prior. The company's 52-week high was $9.18 in May. It traded as low as $2.20 a year ago.

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