Cheese prices still on the rise

June 12, 2011
Cheese prices still on the rise

Average block cheese prices jumped 15 cents last week on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, coming in at an average of $2.11. Last week's average was $1.94, which was nearly a 20-cent increase from the previous week when it came in at $1.74.

Prices stayed consistent around $2.11 Monday through Friday.

Wheat prices again hit above $10 last week, the third time since mid-February. Wheat is up 72 percent from last year because of a continued Russian ban on exports and poor weather conditions in the U.S. and Europe.

Still, the week's average was $10.13 on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, down from $10.27 the previous week.

Wheat closed at $10.42 Monday, $9.84 Tuesday, $10.21 Wednesday, $10.20 Thursday and $10 Friday.

Gasoline and diesel fuel

Monday's nationwide average for regular unleaded gasoline was $3.70, down 7 cents from $3.77 the previous week, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service.

Prices are also down from $3.97 a month ago, and remain up more than $1 from this time last year, when consumers were paying $2.72 at the pump.

Mid-range unleaded is $3.84, while Monday's premium unleaded price was $3.97, a 7-cent drop from last week's $4.04.

The nationwide average for diesel fuel is $3.98, a drop from $3.99 last week and $4.01 from the previous week. Diesel prices are also down from $4.16 a month ago, and remain up from $2.97 a year ago.

Natural Gas
Natural gas prices rose on the week across the board, with somewhat moderate increases in most areas and steep increases in the Northeast United States. The Henry Hub spot price rose 20 cents on the week from $4.63 per million Btu (MMBtu) last Wednesday, June 1, to $4.83 per MMBtu yesterday.

Pizza company stocks
Shares in Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. dropped to $52.87 Friday, down from $54.42 the previous week and $56.26 two weeks ago, which was the company's 52-week high. Yum! traded at a 52-week low of $38.53 in July 2010.

Domino's finished last week at $23.14, down from $24.24 the previous week, which was the company's 52-week high. However, shares are still substantially higher over this time last year when the company traded as low as $10.99 in June 2010.

Papa John's finished at $32.12, a small drop from last week's $32.71. However the previous week was the company's 52-week high at $34.12. Papa John's traded at a 52-week low of $22.78 in July 2010.

Shares in CEC Entertainment Inc., parent company of Chuck E. Cheese restaurants, closed at $37.72 Friday, a decline from last Friday's $38.48. CEC traded as high as $40.90 in December 2010 and as low as $30.44 in August 2010.

California Pizza Kitchen closed at $18.42, a slight increase from last week when it came in at $18.38. CPKI traded as high as $20.79 in May 2010 and as low as $13.19 in July 2010.

Pizza Inn hit a new 52-week high this week at $2.48 Friday, up almost a quarter from $2.25 the previous Friday. It traded as low as $1.77 in May 2010.

Topics: Business Strategy and Profitability, California Pizza Kitchen, Cheese, Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza, Domino's Pizza, Dough, Equipment & Supplies, Food & Beverage, Operations Management, Papa John's, Pizza Hut, Pizza Inn, Pizza Toppings

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