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Average block cheese prices averaged $1.57 last week on the Chicago Mercantile, their lowest since May 2012. Cheese prices jumped to above $2.10 toward the end of the year, but have since fallen steadily. A week ago, they were $1.59.
Cheese markets closed at $1.55 Monday and Tuesday, $1.57 Wednesday, $1.59 Thursday and $1.60 on Friday.
Wheat prices inched back up last week to average $8.05 on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange. This is a slight increase from $7.96 last week, which marked the first time wheat fell below the $8 mark in months. Wheat averaged $9.13 at the end of 2012.
Prices during the mid-summer 2012 averaged $7.49, before the drought kicked in.
Last week, wheat closed at $8.07 Monday, $8.08 Tuesday, $8.02 Wednesday and $8.06 Thursday and Friday.
Gasoline and diesel fuel
Today's nationwide average for regular unleaded fuel is $3.69, marking two weeks in a row the price has dropped after months on the rise. Fuel last week was $3.74. According to the AAA and the Oil Price Information Service, prices a month ago were $3.57. Last year at this time, consumers were paying $3.79 at the pump.
Today's mid-range unleaded is $3.86, down from $3.91 last week. Premium gas is $4.01, from $4.06 last week.
Diesel fuel prices are also down slightly, at $4.09, from $4.12 last week. The price of diesel fuel is up from $3.88 last month and from $4.10 a year ago.
Natural gas prices rose at most trading points during the report week (Feb. 27 to March 6). The Henry Hub spot price ended the week March 6 at $3.57 per MMBtu, up 8 cents from its level the previous week.
The front-month (April 2013) New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) contract ended yesterday slightly higher than its value the previous week, at $3.470 per MMBtu, compared to $3.434 per MMBtu last week.
Pizza company stocks
Shares of Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. rose to $67.25 last week, compared to $65.48 the week prior. Yum! continues to recover from its China supply chain "crisis" earlier this year. The company's 52-week high was $74.75 in November. It hit a new 52-week low of $59.68 on Feb. 5.
Domino's closed last Friday at $49.66, up from $47.62 the week before. DPZ is riding a strong Q4 earnings report which led to a fresh 52-week-high of $50.19 on March 6. Shares in June were traded at $28.17.
Papa John's has recovered after missing Q4 expectations two weeks ago. It closed at $59.56 on Friday, up from $52.01 the week prior. PZZA hit a new 52-week high earlier on Friday at $60.52. The company hit its 52-week low of $36.56 a year ago.
CEC Entertainment Inc., parent company of Chuck E. Cheese restaurants, closed out last week at $31.74, a slight increase from $30.25 the week prior. CEC hit its 52-week high a year ago at $39.72. Its 52-week low was in August at $28.23.
Pizza Inn closed out last week at $3.41, up from $3.15 the week prior. PZZI hit its 52-week high of $5.08 in March 2012 and traded as low as $2.18 in June.
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