Weak dollar drives up wheat prices

Nov. 13, 2011 | by Alicia Kelso


Average block cheese prices continued to climb last week on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, averaging $1.90, from $1.83 the week before.

Cheese was at $1.72 two weeks ago.

Cheese prices closed at $1.87 Monday, $1.90 Tuesday, $1.89 Wednesday and Thursday, and $1.95 Friday.


Wheat prices jumped up to $9.40 last week on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, from $9.12 the previous week.

Wheat closed at $9.28 Monday, $9.46 Tuesday, $9.51 Wednesday, $9.45 Thursday and $9.34 Friday.

The U.S. wheat market has been volatile mostly due to weak exports and a weaker dollar.

Gasoline and diesel fuel

Today's nationwide average for regular unleaded fuel is $3.41, up a penny from $3.40 last week, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service.

Prices are down slightly from $3.45 a month ago, but are significantly up from this time last year, when consumers were paying $2.89 at the pump.

Mid-range unleaded is $3.56, from $3.55 last week, while today's premium unleaded price is $3.70, from $3.68 last week.

The nationwide average for diesel fuel continues to rise, and is currently at $3.96, from $3.90 last week. The price of diesel fuel is up from last month's $3.80, and from this time last year when it cost $3.18.

Natural gas

Continuing its recent trend of languishing below the $4 per million Btu (MMBtu) mark, the Henry Hub natural gas spot price oscillated this week, and posted an overall net increase of 16 cents, from $3.39 per MMBtu Nov. 2, to $3.55 per MMBtu on Nov. 9.

Pizza company stocks

Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed last week at $55.81, a big jump from $53.98 the previous week. The company hit its 52-week high in August when shares were $56.72. Yum! traded as low as $46.40 in January.

Domino's closed last Friday at $32.37, up from $32.01 the previous week. DPZ hit its 52-week high in October, at $33.00. Shares remain substantially higher over this time last year when the company traded at $13.98 in November 2010.

Papa John's closed last week at its new 52-week high of $36.50, from $35.54 the previous week. The company's shares continue to surge following a strong earnings report two weeks ago. PZZA's 52-week low was last November, at $25.00.

CEC Entertainment Inc., parent company of Chuck E. Cheese restaurants, closed out last week at $35.03, an increase of nearly $1 from $34.04 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 hit its new 52-week high last week, and finished Friday at $6.00 even, up from $4.73 last week. The boost came after a strong Q1 earnings report and news of the company's expanded credit facility to grow its Pie Five concept. PZZI traded as low as $1.88 in November 2010.

Read more about equipment and supplies.

Topics: Cheese , 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 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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