Analysts predict spike in natural gas costs

Oct. 15, 2013 | by Alicia Kelso

Gas prices are relatively steady as the government shutdown continues, which has caused some shift in supply and demand. Meanwhile, natural gas prices continue to rise and could jump by as much as 13 percent in the Midwest this winter, according to a new federal report.


Cheese prices inched up a penny last week on the Chicago Mercantile, averaging $1.77, from $1.76 the week prior.

Prices closed at $1.76 Monday and Tuesday, $1.77 Wednesday, $1.78 Thursday and $1.80 Friday.


Wheat prices continued to rise last week on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, averaging $7.52, from $7.41 the week prior. Wheat is up about 50 cents since the end of September.

Last week, wheat closed at $7.50 Monday, $7.53 Tuesday and Wednesday, $7.51 Thursday and $7.54 on Friday.

Gasoline and diesel fuel

The nationwide average price for regular unleaded fuel today is $3.34, even from last week. According to the AAA and the Oil Price Information Service, prices a month ago were $3.52.

Last year at this time, consumers were paying $3.78 at the pump.

Today's mid-range unleaded is $3.52, from $3.51 last Monday. Premium gas is $3.69, from $3.70 last Monday.

Diesel fuel prices are averaging $3.87, down a penny from last Monday. The price of diesel fuel was $3.94 a month ago and $4.13 last year.

Natural gas

Nationwide natural gas hub prices grew moderately over the report week (Oct. 2 to Oct. 9). The Henry Hub spot price closed Oct. 9 at $3.70 per million British thermal units (MMBtu), up 9 cents per MMBtu from the beginning of the report week.

At the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex), the price of the November 2013 contract increased 13.7 cents, from $3.542 per MMBtu Oct. 2 to $3.679 Oct. 9.

Pizza company stocks

Shares of Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed last week at $67 flat, down from $70.44 after a disappointing earnings report. The company's 52-week low was in early February at $59.68. The company hit a new 52-week high of $75.13 in August.

Domino's finished last week at $68.36, up 2 cents from $68.34 the week prior. DPZ hit a 52-week high in early October, at $69.92. Its 52-week low was $38.98 a year ago.

Papa John's finished Friday at $71.37, up from $69.90 the week prior. The company hit a new 52-week high in late September 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 $46.15, up slightly from $45.09 the week prior. The company hit a fresh 52-week high earlier in the day at $46.50. Its low was a year ago at $28.95.

Pizza Inn closed out last week at $8.16, a jump from $7.46 the week prior. The company's 52-week high was $9.18 in May. It traded as low as $2.50 a year ago.

Read more about supply chain news.


Topics: Cheese , Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza , Domino's Pizza , Equipment & Supplies , Food Cost Management , Operations Management , Papa John's , Pizza Hut , Pizza Inn

Alicia Kelso / Alicia has been a professional journalist for 15 years. Her work with, and has been featured in publications around the world, including NPR, Good Morning America, Voice of Russia radio, and Franchise Asia magazine.
View Alicia Kelso's profile on LinkedIn

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