Gas prices boomerang back up

May 13, 2013 | by Alicia Kelso

After months on the decline, gas prices seem to be headed back up before the summer peak driving season. Regular unleaded jump 5 cents in the past week.

Wheat prices are also up, on average, over last week, and have increased by nearly 75 cents in the past month. Here is an overview of the past week in commodities.


Average block cheese prices fell slightly last week, after weeks on the rise. The average on the Chicago Mercantile was $1.86, from $1.89 the week prior.

Cheese is up nearly 20 cents since the beginning of April; however it remains lower than the $2.10 average at the end of 2012.

Cheese markets closed at $1.91 Monday, $1.86 Tuesday and Wednesday, $1.85 Thursday and $1.84 on Friday.


Wheat prices jumped again on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, averaging $8.55, from $8.40 the week prior. Wheat averaged $7.81 in early April.

Prices 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 $8.51 Monday and $8.57 Tuesday through Friday.

Gasoline and diesel fuel

After months on the decline, today's nationwide average for regular unleaded fuel is $3.57, from $3.52 last week.

According to the AAA and the Oil Price Information Service, prices a month ago were $3.54. Last year at this time, consumers were paying $3.72 at the pump.

Today's mid-range unleaded is $3.75, a 6-cent gain from $3.69 last week. Premium gas is $3.90, from $3.85.

Diesel fuel prices averaged $3.88, from $3.87 last week. The price of diesel fuel is still down from $3.96 last month and from $4.04 a year ago at this time.

Natural gas

Both spot and futures prices posted declines this report week (May 1-May 8). The Henry Hub spot price decreased from $4.30 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) May 1 to $3.86 per MMBtu May 8. Most price points across the country experienced similar declines.

The June 2013 New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex) contract also declined, from $4.326 per MMBtu May 1 to close at $3.978 per MMBtu May 8.

Pizza company stocks

Shares of Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed last week at $69.07, up nearly a dollar from $68.08 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 climbed to $57.66 last week, up from $55.49 the week prior. Domino's hit another 52-week high last week at $58.29 following a strong Q1 earnings report. Its low was in June at $28.17.

Papa John's closed last week at $65.54, a drop from $64.34 the week prior. PZZA turned in a new 52-week high earlier in the week at $66.85. The company hit its 52-week low of $45.19 a year ago.

CEC Entertainment Inc., parent company of Chuck E. Cheese restaurants, closed out last week at $37.86, up big from $32.94 the week prior. CEC hit a new 52-week high of $38.83 the week prior following a positive earnings report. The company's 52-week low was in August at $28.23.

Pizza Inn closed out last week at $6.03, down from $7.37 the week prior. PZZI hit a new 52-week high last week, at $9.18. The company traded as low as $2.18 in June.

Read more supply chain and commodities news.

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.
View Alicia Kelso's profile on LinkedIn

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