Commodities: A brutal week for most pizza brands

| by S.A. Whitehead
Commodities: A brutal week for most pizza brands

It was a relatively brutal week for pizza brands that wrapped up trading on commodities and stocks for June. When the markets closed last week, most commodity prices were up, while all but one pizza brand — Papa Murphy's — was trading down with investors. 


The closing price for barrels, reported by the U.S.D.A.'s Agricultural Marketing Service last week was $1.3900, compared to the previous Friday's closing price of $1.2850. The closing price for blocks was $1.5550, compared to the previous week's closing price of $1.4900.


Compared to last week, cash bids for wheat were lower. Last week's export sales and shipments of wheat totaled 20.7 and 13.1 million bushels respectively, putting total wheat shipments down 50 percent from a year ago in its first month of 2018-19.  

Wheat was 10 to 45 1/4 cents lower. Kansas City U.S. No. 1 Hard Red Winter, ordinary protein rail bid was 45 1/4 cents lower from $5.49-$5.64 per bushel.  Kansas City U.S. No. 2 Soft Red winter rail bid was not quoted.  

St. Louis truck U.S. No. 2 Soft Red Winter terminal bid was 11 to 16 cents lower, from $4.94-$5.09 per bushel. Minneapolis and Duluth U.S. No. 1 Dark Northern Spring, 14.0 to 14.5 percent protein rail, was not quoted. Portland U.S. Soft White wheat rail was 10 cents lower from $5.80-$5.90 per bushel.

Vehicle fuel

After a few weeks of respite from rising gas prices, the trend is heading back up again. Today's average for a gallon of regular hit $2.86, which is up 2 cents from a week ago but still 11 cents under the month-ago prices. The same trend was in effect for mid-grade and premium gas, which stood at $3.16 and $3.41 respectively. 

The fluctuation for diesel was not as marked, with diesel at $3.17 today, down 4 cents from last month. E85 came in at $2.41 this morning, down 6 cents from last month. All gas grades and alternative fuel prices watched by this website were well above last year's prices at this time, ranging from 40 to more than 60 cents a gallon above last year's rates, depending on the grade of fuel. 

Natural gas

Natural gas spot prices rose at most locations for the seven days ending last Wednesday, June 27. The Henry Hub spot price rose from $2.95 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) on June 20 to $3.00/MMBtu last Wednesday.

At the New York Mercantile Exchange, the July 2018 contract expired at $2.996/MMBtu. The August 2018 contract price increased to $2.981/MMBtu, up 2 cents Wednesday to Wednesday.

Net injections to working gas totaled 66 billion cubic feet (Bcf) for the week ending June 22. Working natural gas stocks are 2,074 Bcf, which is 26 percent lower than the year-ago level and 19 percent lower than the five-year (2013-17) average for this week.

The natural gas plant liquids composite price at Mont Belvieu, Texas, fell by 3 cents, averaging $8.33/MMBtu for the week ending June 27. The price of propane and isobutane fell by 2 and 7 percent, respectively. The price of natural gasoline, ethane, and butane rose by 1, 5 and 2 percent, respectively.

According to Baker Hughes, for the seven days ending June 19, the natural gas rig count decreased by six to 188. The number of oil-directed rigs fell by  one to 862. The total rig count decreased by seven, and it now stands at 1,052.

Pizza company stocks

June went out last week with a whimper for most of the pizza brands monitored here on the trading floors. Just one week after Domino's jumped more than $15 in value, the stocks last week moved downward, canceling most of the previous week's gain to close at  $282.17, off $10.22 from the previous Friday. 

Pizza Hut parent, Yum Brands, fared better but was still knocked down in value from the previous week, closing at $78.22 on the New York Stock Exchange Friday, down $2.14 from the previous Friday.  

Over on the NASDAQ, Papa John's also suffered a blow, dropping $3.61 in value over the week, to close Friday at $50.72. In fact, the only winner last week was Papa Murphy's, which closed Friday at $5.55, up 46 cents from the prior week. 

Photo: iStock

Topics: Business Strategy and Profitability, Cheese, Delivery, Dough, Equipment & Supplies, Financial Management, Financial News

S.A. Whitehead

Award-winning veteran print and broadcast journalist, Shelly Whitehead, has spent most of the last 30 years reporting for TV and newspapers, including the former Kentucky and Cincinnati Post and a number of network news affiliates nationally. She brings her cumulative experience as a multimedia storyteller and video producer to the web-based pages of and after a lifelong “love affair” with reporting the stories behind the businesses that make our world go ‘round. Ms. Whitehead is driven to find and share news of the many professional passions people take to work with them every day in the pizza and quick-service restaurant industry. She is particularly interested in the growing role of sustainable agriculture and nutrition in food service worldwide and is always ready to move on great story ideas and news tips.

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