Wheat, cheese, gas prices at their lowest in months

Dec. 18, 2011 | by Alicia Kelso


Average block cheese prices continued to drop last week on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, averaging $1.58, from $1.68 the previous week.

Cheese reached its 3-month high of $2 on Nov. 15, but continues to drop on slowing demand. This week's average is its lowest since early April.

Cheese prices closed at $1.63 Monday, $1.60 Tuesday, $1.58 Wednesday, $1.57 Thursday and $1.56 Friday.


Wheat also closed out last week at its lowest price in months, averaging $8.33 on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, from $8.47 the previous week. Wheat costs haven't been this low since mid-July.

Wheat closed at $8.44 Monday, $8.51 Tuesday, $8.46 Wednesday, $8.15 Thursday and $8.11 Friday.

Gasoline and diesel fuel

Gas prices are at their lowest level since February, as crude oil prices continue to fall.

Today's nationwide average for regular unleaded fuel is $3.22, down from $3.27 last week, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service.

Prices are down from $3.37 a month ago, but remain up from this time last year, when consumers were paying $2.98 at the pump.

Mid-range unleaded is $3.36, a drop from $3.42 last week, while today's premium unleaded price is $3.50, from $3.55 last week.

Diesel fuel prices are averaging $3.85, compared to $3.90 last week. The price of diesel fuel is down from $3.99 a month ago, and up from $3.26 a year ago.

Natural gas

An absence of significantly lower seasonal temperatures, coupled with continued high storage levels, put downward pressure on natural gas prices this week. The Henry Hub price closed down 37 cents for the week to $3.08 per MMBtu on Dec. 14.

Pizza company stocks

Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed last week at $57.70, down slightly from $57.96 the previous week. The company hit its 52-week high earlier last week at $58.11, after increasing its fiscal year guidance. Yum! traded as low as $46.40 in January.

Domino's closed last Friday at $33.30, a drop from $34.70 the previous week. DPZ hit its 52-week high of $35.00 earlier last week. Shares remain substantially higher over this time last year when the company traded at $15.78.

Papa John's closed last week at $36.71, from $37.83 the previous week. PZZA hit its 52-week high earlier this month at $38.92. PZZA's 52-week low was last December when it traded at $25.83.

CEC Entertainment Inc., parent company of Chuck E. Cheese restaurants, closed out last week at $33.93, up from $33.67 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 closed Friday at $5.57, down from $6.37 the previous week. PZZI hit its 52-week high of $6.60 earlier this month. PZZI traded as low as $1.86 a year ago.

Read more about equipment and supplies

Topics: Cheese , Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza , Domino's Pizza , Equipment & Supplies , Financial 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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