Average block cheese prices inched up a penny last week on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, coming in at an average of $2.01, up from $2 the week prior.
Prices were $2.02 Monday and $2.01 Tuesday through Friday.
Cheese remains up from last year’s average of $1.63 per pound.
Wheat prices dropped under $9 last week on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, averaging $8.94. The previous week’s average was $9.38.
Wheat closed at $9.40 Monday, $9.12 Tuesday, $8.92 Wednesday, $8.76 Thursday and $8.53 Friday.
Gasoline and diesel fuel
Meanwhile, gas prices continue to climb, an issue that was addressed by President Barack Obama during a March 11 press conference.
Today’s nationwide average for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.55, up from $3.50 the previous week, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service. Prices also remain up from a month ago, when they were $3.12, and from this time last year, when consumers were paying $ 2.78 at the pump.
Mid-range unleaded currently averages $3.69, while premium unleaded Monday was just under $3.82.
The nationwide average for diesel fuel stood at $3.92, up from $3.87 per gallon last week. Diesel prices also remain up from $3.52 a month ago, and from $2.92 a year ago.
Obama acknowledged the price increases and their ability to diminish the effect of economic stimulus policies. He also said he is not yet prepared to unleash the nation’s energy reserves to bring down the price of oil, a contributor to the overall increases.
Natural gas spot prices remained soft at nearly all domestic pricing points. The Henry Hub price rose an insignificant 2 cents per million Btu (MMBtu) (0.5 percent) for the week ending March 9, to $3.81 per MMBtu.
Pizza company stocks
Shares in Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed at $52.58, a big jump from its $50.97 closing the previous week. This marked the company’s all-time 52-week high, which was previously $52.47 in November. Yum! traded at a 52-week low of $37.47 in March 2010.
Domino’s closed at its 52-week high of $17.86 Friday, a bump from its previous week’s closing of $17.32. Domino’s traded as low as $10.99 in June 2010.
Papa John's stock closed at $30.55 Friday, a boost from its previous week’s closing of $29.40, and its 52-week high. The company traded at a 52-week low of $22.78 in July 2010.
Shares in CEC Entertainment Inc., parent company of Chuck E. Cheese restaurants, closed at $37.04 Friday, a drop from its previous week’s closing of $37.65. 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 $15.68 Friday, down from the previous week’s closing of $16.18 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 $2.03 Friday, up a nickel from its previous Friday’s closing of $1.98. PZZI traded at a 52-week high of $2.20 in April 2010, and a 52-week low of $1.55 in January 2010.
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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.