Tropical storms push natural gas prices up last week

 
Sept. 11, 2011 | by Alicia Kelso

Cheese

Average block cheese prices remained steady at $1.79 last week on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, matching the previous two weeks' average.

Cheese prices closed at $1.79 Tuesday through Thursday and dropped to $1.78 Friday.

Wheat

Wheat prices dipped slightly to $9.57 last week on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, from $9.62 the week before.

Wheat closed at $9.71 Tuesday, $9.64 Wednesday, $9.48 Thursday and $9.45 Friday.

Gasoline and diesel fuel

Monday's nationwide average for regular unleaded gasoline was $3.64, down slightly from $3.66 a week ago, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service.

Prices are back up from $3.60 a month ago, and up significantly from this time last year, when consumers were paying $2.69 at the pump.

Mid-range unleaded is down a penny to $3.78 from $3.79 the previous week, while today's premium unleaded price is $3.91, down from $3.92 last week.

The nationwide average for diesel fuel is $3.91, equal to last week's average. Although the price of diesel fuel is close to last month's $3.90, it is nearly a dollar more than this time last year when it cost $2.95.

Natural Gas

In the wake of Hurricane Irene (later downgraded to Tropical Storm Irene), Tropical Depression Lee moved into the Gulf, causing production shut-ins and across the board price increases last Thursday, Sept. 1. The Henry Hub spot price saw a 21-cent increase, jumping from $3.97 per million Btu (MMBtu) on Wednesday, Aug. 31 to $4.18 per MMBtu the following day. The impacts of the slow-moving storm were overshadowed, however, by significantly cooler weather, and prices declined steadily from their Aug. 31 high over the next few days, closing at $3.93 per MMBtu on Tuesday. The threat of a new storm in the Gulf, Tropical Storm Nate, likely caused prices to rally slightly, with the Henry Hub spot price closing out the report week yesterday at $3.96 per MMBtu.

Pizza company stocks

Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed last week at $51.53, down more than a dollar from $52.65 the previous week. The company hit its 52-week high about a month ago when shares were $56.72. Yum! traded at a 52-week low of $43.85 in September 2010.

Domino's closed last Friday at $26.87, up a penny from $26.86 the previous week, which was the company's 52-week high. Shares remain substantially higher over this time last year when the company traded at $13.19 in September 2010.

Papa John's closed Friday at $28.07, a drop from $28.72 the previous week. The company hit its 52-week high earlier this summer at $34.12 and traded at a 52-week low of $25.10 in September 2010.

CEC Entertainment Inc., parent company of Chuck E. Cheese restaurants, fell to $27.93 last week, from $28.96 the previous week. The company hit its 52-week high of $41.75 in July. CEC hit its 52-week low of $33.18 in October 2010.

Pizza Inn stocks dipped to $2.87 Friday, an 8-cent drop from $2.95 the previous week. Pizza Inn hit its 52-week high earlier this summer when it finished at $3.26. It traded as low as $1.79 in September 2010.

Read more about equipment and supplies.

Photo provided by todbaker.


Topics: Cheese , Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza , Domino's Pizza , Equipment & Supplies , Operations Management , Papa John's , Pizza Hut , Pizza Inn


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

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