Warmer temperatures bring higher gas prices

Feb. 24, 2014 | by Alicia Kelso

Fuel prices have been on the rise for the past few weeks now, and are 13 cents higher than they were a month ago. Some analysts say the trend is common as temperatures get warmer.

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, gas prices are expected to continue rising.

Meanwhile, cheese prices have shown some stability after climbing nonstop for months and reaching near all-time highs. Here's a glimpse at the market this week.


Cheese prices remained somewhat stable last week after months on the rise, averaging $2.12, from $2.10 the week prior.

Prices were $1.89 in early December.

Last week, prices closed at $2.10 Tuesday and Wednesday, $2.13 Thursday and $2.16 on Friday. The markets were closed on Monday to recognize President's Day.


After months of hitting record lows, wheat prices have jumped back up, averaging $6.77 on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, up from $6.58 the week prior.

Prices were $6.02 in January.

Last week, prices closed at $6.79 Tuesday, $6.84 Wednesday, $6.81 Thursday and $6.64 on Friday.

Gasoline and diesel fuel

The nationwide average price for regular unleaded fuel today is $3.41, another jump from the previous week, when prices were $3.35. According to the AAA and the Oil Price Information Service, prices a month ago were $3.28.

Last year at this time, consumers were paying $3.77 at the pump.

Today's mid-range unleaded is $3.60, up from $3.54 the week prior. Premium gas is $3.76, from $3.70 the week prior.

Diesel fuel prices are averaging $3.99, up 3 cents from $3.96 the week prior. The price of diesel fuel was $3.86 a month ago, and $4.14 a year ago.

Natural gas

Natural gas spot prices moved in different directions at different trading locations during the report week. The Henry Hub spot price closed down at $5.97 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) on Feb. 19, 18 cents/MMBtu below the $6.15/MMBtu spot price on Feb. 12.

At the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex), the March 2014 futures price increased from $4.822/MMBtu Feb. 12 to $6.149/MMBtu Feb. 19, the highest front-month contract price in more than four years.

Pizza company stocks

Shares of Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed out last week at $72.98, down a bit from $73.82 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 $72.26, up from $71.80 the week prior. DPZ hit a new 52-week high in January at $73.41. Its 52-week low was $45.13 a year ago.

Papa John's shares finished last week at $47.75, down slightly from $48.32 the week prior. PZZA hit a new all-time high of $49.33 in January. Its low of $24.94 was a year ago.

CEC Entertainment Inc., parent company of Chuck E. Cheese restaurants, has been delisted from the NYSE following its sale to Apollo Global Management LLC.

Pizza Inn Holdings closed out last week at $6.38, up 3 cents from $6.35 the week prior. The company's 52-week-high was $9.18 in May. It traded as low as $3.03 a year ago.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Topics: Cheese , 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

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