Wheat prices remained under $7.50 for the second week in a row, the crop's lowest average since May 2012.
Meanwhile, Domino's continued to generate new 52-week highs again last week, marking the company's third month in a row of hitting a new peak. An analyst with Seeking Alpha wrote that Domino's is uniquely positioned because of its marketing strategy, which "emphasizes cost to the consumer." Additionally, the company's technology initiatives are broadening its reach to a wider consumer base.
Average block cheese prices inched up another 2 cents last week on the Chicago Mercantile, averaging $1.77, from $1.75 the week prior and $1.69 two weeks ago.
Cheese averaged $1.90 in the spring. It remains significantly lower than the $2.10 average at the end of 2012.
Cheese markets closed at $1.76 Monday and $1.77 Tuesday through Friday.
What prices continued to fall last week on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, averaging $7.38, down from $7.41 the week prior. This average marks wheat's lowest price since May 2012.
Prices averaged $9.13 at the end of 2012.
Last week, wheat closed at $7.34 Monday, $7.37 Tuesday and $7.41 Wednesday through Friday.
Gasoline and diesel fuel
The nationwide average price for regular unleaded fuel is $3.61, down 2 cents from $3.63 last week. According to the AAA and the Oil Price Information Service, prices a month ago were $3.47.
Last year at this time, consumers were also paying $3.61 at the pump.
Today's mid-range unleaded is $3.78, from $3.79 last week. Premium gas is $3.94, down from $3.96 last week.
Diesel fuel prices are averaging $3.88 today, even from $3.88 last week. The price of diesel fuel was $3.81 a month ago and $3.81 a year ago.
With cooler-than-normal weather across most of the country this week, natural gas spot prices at most trading locations fell more than $0.20 per million British thermal unit (MMBtu) since last week (July 24 to July 31). The Henry Hub spot price ended the reporting week at $3.46 per MMBtu July 31, down $0.24 from $3.70 per MMBtu at the beginning of the report period.
At the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex), the price of the near-month (September 2013) contract fell $0.25 cents, from $3.698 per MMBtu July 24 to $3.446 July 31.
Pizza company stocks
Shares of Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed last week at $73.90, up from $72.10 the week prior. The company's 52-week low was in early February at $59.68. The company's 52-week high was $74.75 in November.
Domino's finished last week at $63.81, more than $2 higher than the previous Friday, when it closed at $61.50. DPZ hit its 52-week high Thursday at $64.70. Its 52-week low was $33.52 a year ago.
Papa John's finished Friday at $67.38, down slightly from $67.52 the week prior. PZZA hit its 52-week high in July at $69.97. 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 $42.02, a drop from $42.93 the week prior. The company's 52-week high was two weeks ago at $45.66. Its low was in August at $28.23.
Pizza Inn closed out last week at $7.05, up from $6.50 the week prior. The company's 52-week high was $9.18 in May. It traded as low as $2.28 a year ago.
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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.