Iranian threats push gas prices higher

Jan. 2, 2012 | by Alicia Kelso


Average block cheese prices were flat last week on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, averaging $1.56, equal to the prior week.

Cheese reached its three-month high of $2 on Nov. 15, but continues to drop on slowing demand. The $1.56 average is its lowest since early April.

Cheese prices closed at $1.56 Tuesday through Friday. The markets were closed Monday owing to the Christmas holiday.


Wheat inched a bit higher last week, averaging $8.57 on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange. Wheat was $8.38 the previous week.

Wheat closed at $8.62 Tuesday, $8.63 Wednesday, $8.55 Thursday and $8.49 Friday.

Gasoline and diesel fuel

Gas prices continue to rise after Iran threatened to shut down a key oil export waterway through the Persian Gulf.

Today's nationwide average for regular unleaded fuel is $3.28, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service. A week ago, regular was at $3.23.

Prices are flat in comparison to a month ago when the average was $3.27; however, they have increased 21 cents from this time last year when consumers were paying $3.07 at the pump.

Mid-range unleaded is $3.42, up slightly from $3.37 last week, while today's premium unleaded price is $3.56, also up slightly from $3.51 last week.

Diesel fuel prices are averaging $3.86 compared to $3.82 last week. The price of diesel fuel is up from $3.56 a month ago, and up from $3.32 a year ago.

Natural gas

Natural gas prices at most trading locations across the country fell or remained stable during the report week. The spot price at the Henry Hub fell 3 cents, from $3.08 per MMBtu on Dec. 14 to $3.05 per MMBtu on Dec. 21.

Pizza company stocks

Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed last week at $59.01, from $59.03 the previous week. Shares of Yum! Brands hit another 52-week high last Tuesday at $59.47. Yum! traded as low as $46.40 in January.

Domino's closed last Friday at $33.95, a bump from $33.87 the previous week. DPZ hit its 52-week high of $35.00 in mid-December. Shares remain substantially higher over this time last year when the company traded at $15.80.

Papa John's closed last week at $37.68, from $37.88 the previous week. PZZA hit its 52-week high in early December at $38.92. PZZA's 52-week low was a year ago when it traded at $26.95.

CEC Entertainment Inc., parent company of Chuck E. Cheese restaurants, closed out last week at $34.45, a drop from $35.42 the previous Friday. CEC hit its 52-week low of $27.42 in September. The company hit its 52-week high of $41.75 in July.

Pizza Inn closed Friday at $5.50, a bump from $5.45 the previous week. PZZI hit its 52-week high of $6.60 in early December. PZZI traded as low as $1.86 a year ago.

Read more about equipment and supplies.

Topics: Business Strategy and Profitability , Commentary , Dough , Equipment & Supplies , Food & Beverage , Operations Management

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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