Cheese prices continue to climb

March 24, 2014 | by Alicia Kelso

Cheese prices are showing no mercy, jumping another 8 cents last week. They are at an all-time high, driven in large part by greater consumption in China.

After weeks on the rise, however, wheat prices have tempered a bit and gas prices are steady week over week.

Here's a glimpse at the market this week.


Cheese prices jumped again last week, averaging $2.41 on the Chicago Mercantile, from $2.33 the week prior. Cheese averaged about $1.60 a year ago and is now at an all-time high.

Cheese was about $2 even at the beginning of the year.

Last week, prices closed at $2.40 Monday and Tuesday, and $2.42 on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.


Wheat prices decreased slightly last week on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, averaging $7.44, from $7.50 the week prior.

Wheat prices were as low as $6.02 in January.

Last week, prices closed at $7.24 Monday, $7.41 Tuesday, $7.61 Wednesday, $7.55 Thursday and $7.43 on Friday.

Gasoline and diesel fuel

After weeks on the rise, the nationwide average price for regular unleaded fuel today is $3.52, even from $3.52 the previous week. According to the AAA and the Oil Price Information Service, prices a month ago were $3.39.

Last year at this time, consumers were paying $3.67 at the pump.

Today's mid-range unleaded is $3.71, up from $3.70 the week prior. Premium gas is $3.87, from $3.87 the week prior.

Diesel fuel prices are averaging $3.98, down slightly from $4 the week prior. The price of diesel fuel was $3.98 a month ago, and $4.03 a year ago.

Natural gas

Spot prices fell at most market locations during the report week (March 12 to March 19) as demand declined from the strong weather-related levels of the previous week. The Henry Hub spot price fell from $4.66 per million British thermal units March 12 to $4.44/MMBtu March 19.

At the New York Mercantile Exchange, the April 2014 contract posted almost zero net change, decreasing slightly from $4.490/MMBtu at the beginning to the report week to $4.484/MMBtu March 19.

Pizza company stocks

Shares of Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed out last week at $75.25, down slightly from $75.83 the week prior. The company hit a new 52-week high in November, at $78.68. Its 52-week low was a year ago at $63.16.

Domino's finished last week at $78.84, down slightly from $78.91 the week prior. DPZ is trading at a lifetime high, hitting $80.61 earlier last week. The company's 52-week low was $49.01, a year ago.

Papa John's shares finished last week at $54.50, up from $52.52 the week prior. PZZA hit another 52-week high earlier in the week at $55. Its low of $29.50 was a year ago.

Pizza Inn Holdings closed out last week at $5.80, a drop from $6.02 the week prior. The company's 52-week-high was $9.18 in May. It traded as low as $3.80 a year ago.

Topics: Cheese , 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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