Block cheese prices on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange averaged $1.28 per pound for the trading week ended Aug. 7, up five cents from the previous week. Prices retreated slightly in the middle of the week, but finished higher on Friday. Block cheese closed at just above $1.28 per pound Monday, $1.27 per pound Tuesday and Wednesday and $1.29 per pound on Thursday before finishing out the week at just above $1.31 per pound Friday. Prices are off 47 cents, or 27 percent, compared with this time last year, when block cheese averaged $1.75 per pound.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced plans to to boost the price of milk and cheese in an effort to aid the dairy industry. Milk prices are at their lowest level in 30 years and are below operating costs for many farmers.
Wheat Wheat for September delivery closed at just above $5.73 per bushel Friday on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, off 37 cents compared with the previous Friday's close. Prices had closed at just above $6.24 per bushel Monday, $6.20 per bushel on Tuesday, $6.07 per bushel Wednesday and just above $5.97 per bushel on Thursday. Gasoline and diesel fuel The nationwide average for regular unleaded gasoline was $2.65 per gallon Aug. 10, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service, up 10 cents from the previous week. Prices are up 4 percent from an average of $2.55 per gallon a month ago and off 34 percent from an average of $3.82 per gallon this time last year. Mid-range unleaded averaged $2.81 per gallon while premium unleaded stood at $2.91 per gallon. The nationwide average price for diesel fuel stood at $2.66 per gallon Aug. 10, up 7 cents from last week. Diesel prices are off 43 percent from an average of $4.66 per gallon this time last year. Natural gas Natural gas spot prices fell at most market locations last week, with decreases of as much as 19 cents per million Btu. Prices at the Henry Hub declined by eight cents per MMBtu, or about 2 percent, to $3.41 per MMBtu. Natural gas prices posted increases at both the spot and futures markets last week, according to the Energy Information Administration, with price increases at the spot market ranging between 12 and 43 cents per million Btu. The price at the Henry Hub spot market rose to $3.61 per MMBtu during the report week, increasing by 20 cents or 5.9 percent.
Pizza company stocks Shares in Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed at $36.56 on Aug. 7, up $1.10 compared with the previous week's close of $35.46. YUM traded at a 52-week high of $40.25 in September 2008 and a 52-week low of $21.50 in November 2008. Domino's closed at $8.08, off 14 cents compared with the previous Friday's close of $8.22. Over the past 52 weeks, DPZ has traded as high as $14.20 in August 2008 and as low as $2.61 in November 2008. Papa John's stock closed at $27.01, up $1.60 compared with the previous Friday's close of $25.41. PZZA traded at a 52-week high of $30.68 in September 2008 and a 52-week low of $12.78 in November 2008. Shares in CEC Entertainment Inc., parent company of Chuck E. Cheese restaurants, closed at $27.21, off $1.96 compared with the previous week's close of $29.17. CEC traded at a 52-week high of $39.59 in August 2008 and a 52-week low of $12.96 in November 2008. California Pizza Kitchen closed at $14.93 on Aug. 7, down $1.57 compared with the previous week's close of $16.50. CPKI has traded as high as $17.44 in mid-April and as low as $5.24 in November 2008. Pizza Inn closed at $1.89 on Aug. 7, off a penny compared with the previous week's close of $1.90. PZZI traded at a 52-week high of $2.72 in October 2008 and a 52-week low of 98 cents in April 2009.