Cheese, wheat prices continue to fall

Nov. 26, 2012 | by Alicia Kelso

Cheese prices remained less than $2 last week for the second week in a row. Wheat prices also continued a moderate decline after spiking nearly $2 since this summer.

And after taking a tumble following news of a lawsuit, Papa John's stock rebounded before the holiday break.


Average block cheese prices dropped to $1.82 last week on the Chicago Mercantile Market, from $1.85 the week prior. Prior to these two weeks, cheese averaged more than $2 since September.

Prices closed at $1.82 Monday through Wednesday. The market was closed Thursday and Friday for the Thanksgiving holiday.


Wheat prices also fell last week, averaging $9.12 on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, from $9.19 the week prior. Wheat remains nearly $2 higher than it was in the summer, when prices averaged $7.49.

Prices closed at $9.10 Monday, $9.12 Tuesday, $9.14 Wednesday and $9.13 Friday. The market was closed Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Gasoline and diesel fuel

Today's nationwide average for regular unleaded fuel is $3.42, up a penny from $3.41 last week. The slight rise isn't uncommon for a busy travel weekend such as the Thanksgiving holiday.

According to the AAA and the Oil Price Information Service, prices a month ago were $3.55. Last year at this time, consumers were paying $3.30 at the pump.

Today's mid-range unleaded is $3.59, also up a penny from $3.58 last week, while today's premium gas is $3.74, from $3.73.

Diesel fuel prices also rose slightly, averaging $4.01, from $3.99 last week. The price of diesel fuel is down from $4.07 last month and up from $3.96 last year.

Natural gas

Natural gas prices generally registered overall increases for the report week (Nov. 7-Nov. 14) at many of the country's trading locations. The report week has not been updated since Nov. 14 due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

Pizza company stocks

Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed last week at $74 even, up more than $2 from $71.89 the week prior after adding Michael J. Cavanagh, 46, to its board of directors. Cavanagh is the co-chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s Corporate & Investment Bank based in New York City. The company hit its 52-week high in May at $74.44. Its 52-week low is $53.65 from a year ago.

Domino's closed last Friday at $41.69, up from $40 the week prior. The company's 52-week high was $42.21 in April. Shares remain higher over this time last year when the company traded at $28.17.

Papa John's rebounded last week to close at $51.34, from $47.05 the week prior. Shares dropped after news broke of a lawsuit claiming that the chain sent unsolicited text messages to customers. PZZA hit its 52-week high at $56.41 after a strong Q2 earnings report in early August. The company hit its 52-week low of $35.89 a year ago.

CEC Entertainment Inc., parent company of Chuck E. Cheese restaurants, closed out last week at $30.37, up slightly from $30.02 the week prior. The company's 52-week high was $40.01 in March. Its 52-week low was $28.23 a year ago.

Pizza Inn inched up to $3.19 last week, from $3.14 the week prior, after naming a new CEO at the beginning of the month. PZZI hit its 52-week high of $7.07 in December and traded as low as $2.18 in June.

Read more about equipment and supplies.

Topics: Cheese , Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza , Domino's Pizza , Equipment & Supplies , 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.
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