Average block cheese prices rose last week on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, coming in at an average of $1.98, up from $1.94 the week prior.
Prices held steady, however, Tuesday through Friday at $1.98.
Cheese remains up from last year’s average of $1.63 per pound.
Last week provided a relief in wheat prices, as they dropped to an average of $9.05 on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange. The previous week’s average was $9.78.
Wheat closed at $9.06 Tuesday and Wednesday; $8.93 Thursday; and $9.15 Friday.
Gasoline and diesel fuel
Tumult in the Middle East continues to affect prices at the pump. Today’s nationwide average for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.36, up from $3.17 the previous week, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service.
Prices also remain up from a month ago, when they were $3.10, and from this time last year, when consumers were paying $2.70 at the pump.
Mid-range unleaded currently averages $3.46, while premium unleaded Monday was just under $3.61.
The nationwide average for diesel fuel stood at $3.71, up 15 cents from $3.56 per gallon last week. Diesel prices also remain up from $3.42 a month ago, and from $2.32 a year ago.
Natural gas spot prices were soft again at nearly all domestic pricing points. The Henry Hub price fell 10 cents per million Btu (MMBtu) (2.5 percent) for the week ending Feb. 23, to $3.83 per MMBtu.
Pizza company stocks
Shares in Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed at $50.01 Friday, down more than $1 from the previous week’s closing of $51.17. The company traded at an all-time 52-week high of $52.47 in November 2010, and a 52-week low of $32.49 in February 2010.
Domino’s closed at $16.79 Friday, down from its previous week’s closing of $17.14. DPZ’s 52-week high was earlier this month at $17.16. Domino’s traded as low as $10.64 in February 2010.
Papa John's stock closed at $29.00 Friday, a slight drop from its $29.12 closing the previous week. Papa John’s 52-week high was earlier this month, at $29.57. The company traded at a 52-week low of $21.77 in February 2010.
Shares in CEC Entertainment Inc., parent company of Chuck E. Cheese restaurants, closed at $37.80 Friday, a decrease from $38.25 the previous week. CEC traded at a 52-week high of $41.79 in April 2010, and a 52-week low of $30.84 Aug. 13, 2010.
California Pizza Kitchen closed at $16.76 Friday, down from $17.72 the previous Friday. CPKI traded as high as $22.92 in April 2010, and as low as $13.19 in July 2010.
Pizza Inn turned in at $1.98 Friday, a slight increase from $1.95 the previous week. PZZI traded at a 52-week high of $2.20 in April 2010, and a 52-week low of $1.55 in January 2010.
Photo provided by Svadilfari.
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.