CHICAGO -- Block cheese prices on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange jumped higher last week, averaging slightly above $2.05 per pound for the trading week ended July 25, 2008.
The average price for block cheese was up more than 10 cents from the previous week. The closing price was slightly above $2.00 per pound Monday, $2.05 per pound Tuesday and Wednesday, $2.06 per pound Thursday and nearly $2.07 per pound Friday. Block cheese prices are 20 cents per pound higher than they were this time last year, when block cheese averaged $1.85 per pound. Wheat Wheat for July delivery remained fairly stable last week, closing at $8.86 per bushel Friday on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange. Friday's close was slightly lower compared with the previous Friday, when wheat finished the trading week at $8.88 per bushel.
Prices had closed at $8.75 per bushel Monday and Tuesday, $8.65 per bushel Wednesday and $8.70 per bushel on Thursday.
Gasoline and diesel fuel The nationwide average for regular unleaded gasoline fell to an average of $3.96 per gallon July 28, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service, off 11 cents from this time last week. Prices are off 3 percent from an average of $4.07 per gallon a month ago and up 37 percent from an average of $2.90 per gallon this time last year. Mid-range unleaded averaged $4.13 per gallon, while premium unleaded stood at $4.25 per gallon. The nationwide average price for diesel fuel stood at $4.74 per gallon July 28, off 8 cents from $4.82 per gallon from last week. Diesel prices are up 63 percent from an average of $2.96 per gallon this time last year. Natural gas Natural gas spot prices decreased at all markets in the lower 48 states during the reporting period ended July 23, according to the Energy Information Administration, with prices falling more than $1 per million Btu at most locations during the period. During the reporting period, prices at the Henry Hub fell $1.26 per MMBtu, or about 11 percent, to $9.89 per MMBtu. Despite the declines, however, prices at the Henry Hub remain at historically high levels for this time of year. Prices in the Northeast were $10.79 per MMBtu July 23, off $2.60 compared with $13.39 per MMBtu the previous week.