Cheese and wheat prices tumble

Wheat prices fell below $7.30 last week, their lowest price in at least a year. Cheese prices also dipped a bit, while the cost of fuel inched up slightly after a couple of weeks of falling. They remain 20 cents cheaper than a year ago, however.


Average block cheese prices fell again last week on the Chicago Mercantile, averaging $1.68, from $1.77 the week prior.

Cheese averaged $1.90 in the spring.

Cheese markets closed at $1.75 Monday, $1.70 Tuesday, $1.67 Wednesday, $1.64 Thursday and $1.67 on Friday.


Wheat prices fell below $7.30 last week on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, averaging $7.29, down from $7.36 the week prior.

Prices remain significantly lower than a year ago, with wheat averaging $9.13 at the end of 2012.

Last week, wheat closed at $7.45 Monday, $7.35 Tuesday, $7.28 Wednesday, $7.19 Thursday and $7.16 on Friday.

Gasoline and diesel fuel

The nationwide average price for regular unleaded fuel today is $3.54, up a penny from $3.53 the week prior. 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 $3.74 at the pump.

Today's mid-range unleaded is $3.71 even from $3.71 last week. Premium gas is $3.87, from $3.87 last week.

Diesel fuel prices are averaging $3.88, from $3.87 last week. The price of diesel fuel was also $3.88 a month ago and $4.03 a year ago.

Natural gas

Natural gas hub prices increased in most areas during the report week (Aug. 14 to Aug. 21). The Henry Hub spot price closed Aug. 21 at $3.51 per million British thermal unit (MMBtu), up 15 cents from $3.36 the previous week.

At the Nymex, futures prices also increased over the week. The near-month contract (September 2013) rose from $3.342 per MMBtu to $3.460 per MMBtu Aug. 21.

Pizza company stocks

Shares of Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed last week at $72.75, up from $72.47 the week prior. The company's 52-week low was in early February at $59.69. Yum! seems to be recovering strongly from its China woes earlier this year, as the company hit a new 52-week high of $75.13 two weeks ago.

Domino's finished last week at $62.57, up nearly a dollar from $61.60 the week prior. DPZ hit its 52-week high four weeks ago at $64.70. Its 52-week low was $33.67 a year ago.

Papa John's finished Friday at $71.23, up from $68.70 the week prior. The company hit a new 52-week high earlier in the day at $71.72. 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 $42.97, up from $41.86 the week prior. The company's 52-week high was four weeks ago at $45.66. Its low was a year ago at $28.95.

Pizza Inn closed out last week at $7.20, even with the week prior. The company's 52-week high was $9.18 in May. It traded as low as $2.47 a year ago.

Read more about supply chain news.

Photo provided by Wikimedia.

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