Block cheese jumps 6 cents; gas up a nickel

Feb. 20, 2011 | by Alicia Kelso

Average block cheese prices continued to climb last week on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, coming in at an average of $1.94, up from $1.88 the previous week.

Block cheese prices rose throughout the week, closing at $1.93 Monday and Tuesday, $1.94 Wednesday and $1.95 Thursday and Friday.

Cheese remains up from last year’s average of $1.63 per pound.


Wheat prices eased up a bit from the previous week, averaging $9.78 on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange. The previous week’s average was $10.11. 

Wheat closed at $10.13 Monday, $9.75 Tuesday, $9.67 Wednesday, $9.81 Thursday and $9.55 Friday.

Gasoline and diesel fuel

Today’s nationwide average for regular unleaded gasoline is $ $3.17, up a nickel from the previous week, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service.

Prices remain up from a month ago, when they were $3.11, and from this time last year, when consumers were paying $2.64 at the pump.

Mid-range unleaded currently averages $3.30, while premium unleaded Monday was just under $3.43.

The nationwide average for diesel fuel stood at $3.56, up from $3.52 per gallon last week. Diesel prices also remain up from $ $3.41 a month ago, and from $2.83 a year ago.

Natural Gas

A reprieve from extreme cold in much of the country this week limited space-heating demand, contributing to price declines. The biggest price decreases occurred in the Northeast. During the report week (Feb. 9-16), the Henry Hub spot price decreased $0.29 to $3.93 per million Btu (MMBtu).

Pizza company stocks

Shares in Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed at $51.17, a boost from $49.77 the previous week. The company traded at an all-time 52-week high of $52.47 in November 2010, and a 52-week low of $32.49 in February 2010.

Domino’s closed at $17.14 Friday, up slightly from its previous week’s closing of $17.05. DPZ’s 52-week high was earlier this month at $17.16. Domino’s traded as low as $10.64 in February 2010.

Papa John's stock closed at $29.12 Friday, a drop from the previous week’s close of $29.57, which marked the company’s 52-week high. The company traded at a 52-week low of $21.77 in February 2010.

Shares in CEC Entertainment Inc., parent company of Chuck E. Cheese restaurants, closed at $38.25 Friday, an increase from $38.03 the previous week. CEC traded at a 52-week high of $41.79 in April 2010, and a 52-week low of $30.84 Aug. 13, 2010.

California Pizza Kitchen closed at $17.72 Friday, a bump from the previous Friday’s closing of $17.17. CPKI traded as high as $22.92 in April 2010, and as low as $13.19 in July 2010.

Pizza Inn turned in at $1.95 Friday, up from $1.88 the previous week. PZZI traded at a 52-week high of $2.20 in April 2010, and a 52-week low of $1.55 in January 2010.


Topics: Business Strategy and Profitability , Cheese , Food & Beverage , Operations Management

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.
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