Wheat prices fell below $7.30 last week, their lowest price in at least a year. Cheese prices also dipped a bit, while the cost of fuel inched up slightly after a couple of weeks of falling. They remain 20 cents cheaper than a year ago, however.
Average block cheese prices fell again last week on the Chicago Mercantile, averaging $1.68, from $1.77 the week prior.
Cheese averaged $1.90 in the spring.
Cheese markets closed at $1.75 Monday, $1.70 Tuesday, $1.67 Wednesday, $1.64 Thursday and $1.67 on Friday.
Wheat prices fell below $7.30 last week on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, averaging $7.29, down from $7.36 the week prior.
Prices remain significantly lower than a year ago, with wheat averaging $9.13 at the end of 2012.
Last week, wheat closed at $7.45 Monday, $7.35 Tuesday, $7.28 Wednesday, $7.19 Thursday and $7.16 on Friday.
Gasoline and diesel fuel
The nationwide average price for regular unleaded fuel today is $3.54, up a penny from $3.53 the week prior. According to the AAA and the Oil Price Information Service, prices a month ago were $ $3.63.
Last year at this time, consumers were paying $3.74 at the pump.
Today's mid-range unleaded is $3.71 even from $3.71 last week. Premium gas is $3.87, from $3.87 last week.
Diesel fuel prices are averaging $3.88, from $3.87 last week. The price of diesel fuel was also $3.88 a month ago and $4.03 a year ago.
Natural gas hub prices increased in most areas during the report week (Aug. 14 to Aug. 21). The Henry Hub spot price closed Aug. 21 at $3.51 per million British thermal unit (MMBtu), up 15 cents from $3.36 the previous week.
At the Nymex, futures prices also increased over the week. The near-month contract (September 2013) rose from $3.342 per MMBtu to $3.460 per MMBtu Aug. 21.
Pizza company stocks
Shares of Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed last week at $72.75, up from $72.47 the week prior. The company's 52-week low was in early February at $59.69. Yum! seems to be recovering strongly from its China woes earlier this year, as the company hit a new 52-week high of $75.13 two weeks ago.
Domino's finished last week at $62.57, up nearly a dollar from $61.60 the week prior. DPZ hit its 52-week high four weeks ago at $64.70. Its 52-week low was $33.67 a year ago.
Papa John's finished Friday at $71.23, up from $68.70 the week prior. The company hit a new 52-week high earlier in the day at $71.72. 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 $42.97, up from $41.86 the week prior. The company's 52-week high was four weeks ago at $45.66. Its low was a year ago at $28.95.
Pizza Inn closed out last week at $7.20, even with the week prior. The company's 52-week high was $9.18 in May. It traded as low as $2.47 a year ago.
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Photo provided by Wikimedia.
Alicia Kelso has been a professional journalist for 15 years. Her work with QSRweb.com and PizzaMarketplace.com has been featured in publications around the world, including Good Morning America, Voice of Russia radio, Consumerist.com and Franchise Asia magazine.