Commodities: All tricks, no treats last week in pizza operating costs

| by S.A. Whitehead
Commodities: All tricks, no treats last week in pizza operating costs

It was a dismal week for pizza restaurateurs, thanks to rising commodity prices and falling pizza brand share prices. Even the cost of auto fuel, which had been falling for the last few weeks, has begun to rise in price over the last few days.


For most of last week, it appeared that cheese prices were going to stand still. But on Friday the price of this pizza essential jumped up 4 cents in a single day to close the week at $1.75. That's 8 cents higher than the previous week’s close of $1.67.


The cost of wheat also rose last week, with overall bearish export sales of around 13.2 million bushels. In trading, wheat ranged from 1 cent lower to 24 cents higher.

Kansas City U.S. No. 1 Hard Red Winter, ordinary protein rail bid was 1 cent lower at $4.59 1/4 to $5.78 1/4 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 1 cent to 9 cents higher at $4.18 to $4.31 per bushel. Minneapolis and Duluth U.S. No. 1 Dark Northern Spring, 14 to 14.5 percent protein rail, was 4 3/4 cents to 24 3/4 cents higher at $7.55 1/2 to $7.70 1/2 per bushel. Portland U.S. Soft White wheat rail was 2 1/4 cents to 5 cents higher at $5.30 to $5.40 per bushel.

Gasoline and diesel fuel

The recent downward trend in pump prices appears to have ended last week, as those costs began edging back up again . This morning, the price of regular was up 1 cent from last week to $2.47, but still down 9 cents from a month ago and up 26 cents from last year's bargain prices.

Mid-grade gas was down 9 cents from last month and premium was down 8 cents over the same period. But again, last year we paid 27 cents less for mid-grade and 28 cents less for premium. Meanwhile, diesel was up a penny from last month’s price to $2.74, which was 32 cents higher than the price paid last year at this time.

Natural gas

Natural gas spot prices rose at most locations for the report week ending Wednesday, Oct. 25. The Henry Hub spot price rose from $2.81 per million British thermal units last Wednesday to $2.93/MMBtu yesterday. At the Nymex, the November 2017 contract price rose 6 cents from $2.854/MMBtu last Wednesday to $2.919/MMBtu. Net injections to working gas totaled 64 billion cubic feet for the week ending Oct. 20.

Total U.S. consumption of natural gas fell 1 percent compared with the previous report week, according to data from PointLogic Energy. Natural gas consumed for power generation declined 6 percent week over week. Industrial sector consumption increased by 1 percent week over week. In the residential and commercial sectors, consumption increased by 6 percent.

Working natural gas stocks are 3,710 Bcf, which is 5 percent lower than the year-ago level and 1 percent lower than the five-year (2012–2016) average for the week.The natural gas plant liquids composite price at Mont Belvieu, Texas, fell 5 cents, averaging $7.95/MMBtu for the week ending Oct. 25. The price of propane, butane, and isobutane fell 2 percent, 1 percent and 1 percent, respectively. The price of natural gasoline rose 2 percent, while the price of ethane remained flat week over week.

According to Baker Hughes, for the week ending Friday, Oct. 20, the natural gas rig count decreased by 8 to 177. The number of oil-directed rigs fell by 7 to 736. The total rig count decreased by 15, and now stands at 913.

Pizza company stocks

The pizza brands monitored by Pizza Marketplace had a tough five days in trading last week. The only one to come out unscathed was Papa Murphy’s whose share price remained at a standstill last week, closing at the same $5.53 it did a week earlier.

But for Domino’s, Pizza Hut parent Yum Brands and Papa John’s, trading went south for the week. Domino’s racked up a $1.41 loss ending at $184.68 Friday, down from $186.09 at close of trading the previous week.

Pizza Hut parent, Yum Brands Inc. fell as well, closing at $75.24, a 93 cent drop from the previous Friday’s closing price of $76.17. And finally, Papa John's ended trading Friday at $68.31,  down from $69.45 at the previous Friday’s close.

Topics: Business Strategy and Profitability, Cheese, Equipment & Supplies, Food & Beverage, Food Cost Management, Operations Management

Companies: Papa John's, Papa Murphy's, Yum! Brands, Domino's

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.

Sponsored Links:

Related Content

Latest Content

Get the latest news & insights





Pizza Ranch exec on making a buffet brand soar