CHICAGO – Block cheese prices on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange fell again last week, averaging $1.18 per pound for the trading week ended April 17, off 8 cents from an average of $1.26 per pound the previous week.
Block cheese prices closed at $1.22 per pound Monday and $1.17 per pound the rest of the week.
Prices are off 69 cents, or 37 percent, compared with this time last year, when block cheese averaged $1.87 per pound. Wheat Wheat prices for May delivery was down last week, closing at just under $6.36 per bushel Friday on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, off 8 cents from $6.44 per bushel the last day of the previous trading week. Prices had closed at just above $6.38 per bushel Monday, just under $6.29 per bushel Tuesday, just above 6.27 per bushel Wednesday and just above $6.34 on Thursday.
Gasoline and diesel fuel The nationwide average for regular unleaded gasoline was $2.06 per gallon April 20, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service, up a penny from the previous week. Prices are up 6 percent from an average of $1.95 per gallon a month ago and off 41 percent from an average of $3.49 per gallon this time last year. Mid-range unleaded averaged $2.19 per gallon while premium unleaded stood at $2.26 per gallon. The nationwide average price for diesel fuel stood at $2.23 per gallon April 20, off 4 cents from last week. Diesel prices are off 47 percent from an average of $4.20 per gallon this time last year. Natural gas
Natural gas spot prices increased at most market locations in the lower 48 states, with some exceptions including those in the Northeast, Midwest, and Midcontinent, according to the Energy Information Administration. Despite this week's increases, though, natural gas spot prices remain at relatively low levels and have continued to trade within a limited range for the past four weeks.
The Henry Hub spot market prices gained about 10 cents or 2.9 percent per million Btu, to $3.60 per MMBtu.
Prices in the Northeast stood at $4.14 per MMBtu on April 15, off 4 cents compared with $4.64 the previous week.
Pizza company stocks
Shares in Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc opened at $31.90 on April 20, up 5 percent compared with last Monday's open of $30.35. YUM traded at a 52-week high of $41.73 in May 2008 and a 52-week low of $21.50 in November 2008.
Domino's opened at $6.90, off 6 percent compared with last week's open of $7.36. Over the past 52 weeks, DPZ has traded as high as $14.20 in April 2008 and as low as $2.61 in November 2008.
Papa John's stock opened at $24.27, off 2 percent compared with last Monday's open of $24.77. 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, opened at $30.91, up slightly compared with last Monday's open of $30.75. CEC traded at a 52-week high of $39.59 in May 2008 and a 52-week low of $12.96 in November 2008.
California Pizza Kitchen opened at $15.41 on April 20, up 4 percent compared with last week's open of $14.79. Over the past 52 weeks, CPKI has traded as high as $16.91 in May 2008 and as low as $5.24 in November 2008.
Pizza Inn opened at $1.20, up 9 percent compared with last Monday's open of $1.10. PZZI traded at a 52-week high of $2.90 in April 2008 and a 52-week low of 98 cents in April 2009.