Wheat prices continued to fall last week and are down more than 40 cents than they were just two weeks ago. Gas prices also continued to tumble despite geopolitical tensions. According to AAA, the national average price of gas has fallen for 24 consecutive days, driven by an abundance in refinery production.
Here's a glimpse at the market this week:
Cheese prices held steady for a second week in a row, averaging $2 even on the Chicago Mercantile. Two weeks ago, cheese was at $1.95.
Last week’s prices closed at $2.02 Monday, $2.03 Tuesday, $2.04 Wednesday, $1.98 Thursday and $1.97 on Friday.
The cost of wheat continued to tumble last week on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, averaging $6.21, from $6.33 the week prior. Two weeks ago, wheat was at $6.65.
Prices were near the $8 mark last quarter and around $6.02 in the beginning of the year.
Last week, prices closed at $6.23 Monday, $6.18 Tuesday, $6.21 Wednesday, $6.19 Thursday and $6.27 on Friday.
Gasoline and diesel fuel
The nationwide average price for regular unleaded fuel is down to $3.52, another drop from the previous week, in which gas prices were $3.57. According to the AAA and the Oil Price Information Service, prices a month ago were $3.68.
Last year at this time, consumers were paying $3.63 at the pump.
Today's mid-range unleaded is $3.71, down from $3.76 the week prior. Premium gas is $3.88, from $3.94.
Diesel fuel prices are averaging $3.84, down from $3.86 the week prior. The price of diesel fuel was $3.90 a month ago, and $3.88 a year ago.
Natural gas prices generally fell at most market locations this report week (July 16 to July 23). The Henry Hub spot price declined from $4.10 per million British thermal unit (MMBtu) July 16 to $3.79 July 23.
At the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex), the price of the near-month futures contract (August 2014) fell from $4.119/MMBtu July 16 to $3.762/MMBtu July 23.
Pizza company stocks
Shares of Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed out last week at $73.84, a big drop from $77.01 the week prior and $82.47 two weeks ago after the company’s Q2 earnings report. Another supplier crisis has surfaced in China, affecting the company’s largest market. Yum! hit its 52-week high two weeks ago, at $83.58. Its 52-week low was a year ago at $64.08.
Domino's finished last week at $74.61, up from $72.60 the week prior after the company’s positive Q2 earnings report. DPZ hit a new lifetime high in March at $80.61. The company’s 52-week low was $60.86 a year ago.
Papa John's shares finished last week at $44.24, up from $41.08 the week prior. PZZA hit its 52-week high in March at $55. Its low of $32.78 was a year ago.
Pizza Inn Holdings closed out last week at $7.51, up from $6.42 the week prior. The company’s 52-week high was $9.09 a year ago. Its low was $5.38, also a year ago.
Papa Murphy's closed out Friday at $8.99, up from $8.90 the week prior. In its third month on the NASDAQ, FRSH’s high/low is $12.10 and $8.32, respectively.
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Alicia has been a professional journalist for 15 years. Her work with FastCasual.com, QSRweb.com and PizzaMarketplace.com has been featured in publications around the world, including NPR, Good Morning America, Voice of Russia radio, Consumerist.com and Franchise Asia magazine.