Average block cheese prices continued to climb last week on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, coming in at an average of $1.67, up from $1.51 the previous week.
Block cheese prices inched up each day, closing at $1.58 Monday; $1.65 Tuesday; $1.69 Wednesday; $1.70 Thursday; and $1.73 Friday.
Cheese prices surpassed last year’s average of $1.63 per pound.
Wheat prices broke the $9 mark two weeks ago and have shown no signs of turning back, averaging $9.64 on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange.
Wheat closed at $9.50 Monday, $9.56 Tuesday, $9.77 Wednesday, $9.76 Thursday, and $9.61 Friday.
Gasoline and diesel fuel
The nationwide average for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.09, a drop from $3.11 the previous week, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service.
Prices remain up from a month ago, when they were $3.07, and from this time last year, when consumers were paying $2.67 at the pump.
Mid-range unleaded currently averages $3.29, while premium unleaded Monday was just under $3.41.
The nationwide average for diesel fuel stood at $3.43, up a penny from $3.42 per gallon last week. Diesel prices also remain up from $3.31 a month ago, and from $2.86 a year ago.
Natural gas spot prices were soft at all domestic pricing points. The Henry Hub price fell 8 cents per million Btu (MMBtu) (about 1.7 percent) for the week ending Jan. 26, to $4.40 per MMBtu.
Pizza company stocks
Shares in Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed at $46.40 Friday, a big drop from its previous week’s closing of $48.27, which was boosted by the news of its intention to sell Long John Silver’s and A&W. 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 $16.37 Friday, down from its $16.67 closing a week prior. 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 $28.58 Friday, a dip from the previous week’s closing of $28.84, which was PZZA’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 $36.88 Friday, a decrease from its $37.59 closing Jan. 21. 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 slipped to $15.75 Friday from its $16.31 closing Jan. 21. CPKI traded as high as $22.92 in April 2010, and as low as $13.19 in July 2010.
Pizza Inn turned in at $1.91 Friday, a drop from its Jan. 21 close of $1.98. PZZI traded at a 52-week high of $2.20 in April 2010, and a 52-week low of $1.55 in January 2010.
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.