Average block cheese prices continued to drop last week on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, averaging down from $1.58 the previous week to $1.56.
Cheese reached its 3-month high of $2 on Nov. 15, but continues to drop on slowing demand. This week's average is its lowest since early April.
Cheese prices closed at $1.56 Monday through Friday.
Wheat inched a bit higher last week, averaging $8.38 on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange. Wheat was $8.33 the previous week, the crop's lowest price since mid-July.
Wheat closed at $8.27 Monday, $8.39 Tuesday, $8.41 Wednesday, $8.43 Thursday and $8.44 Friday.
Gasoline and diesel fuel
After dropping to its lowest level since February, gas prices increased a penny from last week. Today's nationwide average for regular unleaded fuel is $3.23, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service.
Prices are down from $3.30 a month ago, but remain up from this time last year when consumers were paying $3.04 at the pump.
Mid-range unleaded is $3.37, a bump from $3.35 last week, while today's premium unleaded price is $3.51, up a penny from $3.50 last week.
Diesel fuel prices are averaging $3.82, compared to $3.85 last week. The price of diesel fuel is down from $3.96 a month ago, and up from $3.29 a year ago.
Natural gas prices at most trading locations across the country fell or remained stable during the report week. The spot price at the Henry Hub fell 3 cents, from $3.08 per MMBtu last Wednesday, Dec. 14, to $3.05 per MMBtu yesterday, December 21.
Pizza company stocks
Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed last week at $59.03, up from $57.70 the previous week. The company hit its 52-week high early in the day last Friday, at $59.17. Yum! traded as low as $46.40 in January.
Domino's closed last Friday at $33.87, an increase from $33.30 the previous week. DPZ hit its 52-week high of $35.00 two weeks ago. Shares remain substantially higher over this time last year when the company traded at $15.78.
Papa John's closed last week at $37.88, from $36.71 the previous week. PZZA hit its 52-week high earlier this month at $38.92. PZZA's 52-week low was last December when it traded at $25.83.
CEC Entertainment Inc., parent company of Chuck E. Cheese restaurants, closed out last week at $35.42, a climb from the previous Friday when it closed at $33.93. CEC hit its 52-week low of $27.42 in September. The company hit its 52-week high of $41.75 in July.
Pizza Inn closed Friday at $5.45, from $5.57 the previous week. PZZI hit its 52-week high of $6.60 earlier this month. PZZI traded as low as $1.86 a year ago.
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Alicia has been a professional journalist for 15 years. Her work with FastCasual.com, QSRweb.com and PizzaMarketplace.com has been featured in publications around the world, including NPR, Good Morning America, Voice of Russia radio, Consumerist.com and Franchise Asia magazine.