Lower gas prices partly attributed to government shutdown

Consumers are less pinched at the pump as gas prices are down more than 20 cents in the past month. Some analysts point to lower crude oil prices and the government shutdown, which is causing a shift in supply and demand.

Cheese

The Chicago Mercantile only reported cheese prices from Monday through Wednesday last week, with those prices averaging $1.76, even from the week prior.

Cheese closed at $1.76 on all three days.

Wheat

Wheat prices jumped nearly 30 cents last week on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, averaging $7.41, from $7.15 the week prior. Wheat was near the $7 mark two weeks ago.

A year ago, wheat was averaging above $9.

Last week, wheat closed at $7.28 Monday, $7.36 Tuesday, $7.46 Wednesday, $7.50 Thursday and $7.46 on Friday.

Gasoline and diesel fuel

The nationwide average price for regular unleaded fuel today is $3.34, down again from $3.39 the week prior. According to the AAA and the Oil Price Information Service, prices a month ago were $3.57.

Last year at this time, consumers were paying $3.81 at the pump.

Monday's mid-range unleaded was $3.51, from $3.58 the week prior. Premium gas is $3.70, from $3.75.

Diesel fuel prices are averaging $3.88, from $3.90 last week. The price of diesel fuel was $3.94 a month ago and $4.09 a year ago.

Natural gas

Natural gas hub prices were generally flat over the report week (Sept. 25-Oct. 2), with a slight increase on Monday and Tuesday of this week. The Henry Hub spot price closed yesterday at $3.61 per million British thermal units (MMBtu), up 9 cents per MMBtu from the beginning of the report week.

At the Nymex, futures prices were relatively flat. The October 2013 contract closed trading on Sept. 26 at $3.498 per MMBtu. The November 2013 contract became the front-month contract on Sept. 27, when it traded at $3.589 per MMBtu, and decreased by 5 cents per MMBtu to close trading Oct. 3 at $3.542 per MMBtu.

Pizza company stocks

Shares of Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed last week at $70.44, down nearly $2 from $72.37 the week prior. The company's 52-week low was in early February at $59.68. The company hit a new 52-week high of $75.13 last month.

Domino's finished last week at $68.34, up from $67.65 the week prior. DPZ hit another new 52-week high earlier in the week, at $69.92. Its 52-week low was $37.17 a year ago.

Papa John's finished Friday at $69.90, down from $70.73 the week prior. The company hit a new 52-week high two weeks ago at $72.39. 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 $45.09, down slightly from $45.40 the week prior. The company hit a fresh 52-week high last week at $46.38. Its low was a year ago at $28.95.

Pizza Inn closed out last week at $7.46, up from $7.28 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 Flickr user Kaz Vorpal.

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