Spring refinery maintenance leads to higher gas prices

 
March 31, 2014 | by Alicia Kelso

While cheese prices finally eased a bit after weeks on the rise toward all-time highs, gas prices went in the opposite direction. The average cost of fuel is 10 cents more than a month ago, driven by "seasonal refinery maintenance."

Here's a glimpse at the market this week.

Cheese

Cheese prices finally relaxed a bit late last week, closing at $2.38 on Friday. However, they averaged the same week over week and, at $2.41 are hitting all time highs on the Chicago Mercantile.

Cheese averaged about $1.60 a year ago and about $2 even at the beginning of the year.

Last week, prices closed at $2.43 Monday and Tuesday, $2.42 Wednesday, $2.40 Thursday and $2.38 on Friday.

Wheat

Wheat prices inched back up last week on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, averaging $7.53, from $7.44 the week prior.

Wheat prices were as low as $6.02 in January.

Last week, prices closed at $7.63 Monday and Tuesday, $7.46 Wednesday, $7.54 Thursday and $7.39 on Friday.

Gasoline and diesel fuel

The nationwide average price for regular unleaded fuel today is $3.55, from $3.52 the previous week. According to the AAA and the Oil Price Information Service, prices a month ago were $3.45.

Last year at this time, consumers were paying $3.63 at the pump.

Today's mid-range unleaded is $3.73, from $3.71 the week prior. Premium gas is $3.90, from $3.87 the week prior.

Diesel fuel prices, however, are averaging $3.97, down a penny from $3.98 the week prior. The price of diesel fuel was $4 a month ago, and $4 a year ago.

Natural gas

Spot prices rose modestly at most market locations during the report week (March 19 to March 26) as temperatures cooled over the weekend and led to increased natural gas demand. However, the Henry Hub spot price decreased by 2 cents/MMBtu. At the Nymex, the April 2014 contract decreased for the second week in a row, from $4.484/MMBtu on March 19 to $4.402/MMBtu March 26.

Pizza company stocks

Shares of Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed out last week at $73.20, down from $75.25 the week prior. The company hit a new 52-week high in November, at $78.68. Its 52-week low was a year ago at $63.16.

Domino's finished last week at $75.26, down from $78.84 the week prior. DPZ hit a new lifetime high two weeks ago at $80.61. The company's 52-week low was $49.09, a year ago.

Papa John's shares finished last week at $51.78, down from $54.50 the week prior. PZZA hit its 52-week high two weeks ago at $55. Its low of $29.50 was a year ago.

Pizza Inn Holdings closed out last week at $5.58, down from $5.80 the week prior. The company's 52-week-high was $9.18 in May. It traded as low as $3.96 a year ago.

Photo provided by Wikipedia.


Topics: Cheese , Domino's Pizza , Equipment & Supplies , Food Cost Management , Operations Management , Papa John's , Pizza Hut , Pizza Inn


Alicia Kelso / 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.
View Alicia Kelso's profile on LinkedIn

Related Content


Latest Content


comments powered by Disqus

 

TRENDING

 

WHITE PAPERS